- The Washington Times
Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Riding high in the polls, businessman Donald Trump said Tuesday he’s mended fences with Fox News after several rocky exchanges dating back to last week’s debate, and also admitted he’s a “fabulous whiner” who will keep doing it until he wins the White House.

Mr. Trump said he spoke with Fox News President Roger Ailes, and the two of them essentially agreed to move on after Mr. Trump said he felt he was singled out for inappropriate questions and bad treatment during the Thursday debate.

“I was very angry with the way I was treated, and, you know, perhaps justifiably, I think justifiably, but Roger Ailes, who’s an amazing guy and an amazing executive, frankly — he called me yesterday, and as far as I’m concerned, I’m fine with it,” Mr. Trump said on CNN’s “New Day” program.

The now-ubiquitous GOP front-runner later in the day held his first formal press conference since the widely watched first Republican presidential vote, and then gave a feisty Lincoln Day speech to a raucous audience in Birch Run, Michigan, repeating many of his signature themes on economic nationalism, his business acumen, his lead in the polls in many early primary state and the shortcomings of both his Republican and Democratic rivals for the White House.

In his fence-mending Fox appearance, Mr. Trump embraced a characterization of himself by National Review Editor Rich Lowry, who called him a “fabulous whiner” who complains if things don’t go his way.

“Well, I think he’s probably right. I am the most fabulous whiner. I do whine because I want to win. And I’m not happy [if] I’m not winning,” Mr. Trump said. “And I am a whiner, and I’m a whiner, and I keep whining and whining until I win. And I’m going to win for the country, and I’m going to make our country great again.”

The billionaire businessman also said he’s still not ruling out an independent candidacy if he doesn’t secure the party’s nomination — a move that could siphon support away from the Republican nominee and boost the Democratic candidate.

“I’ll keep the door open, but it’s not something I want to do,” he said. “I want to run as a Republican, and I want to win as a Republican and take it back for the Republicans, for the country, and make America great again.”

He told reporters in Michigan the key was whether he felt he was being treated “fairly” by the party officials in the Republican Party.

After last Thursday’s debate Mr. Trump took issue with Fox News host Megyn Kelly, one of the moderators, who had read a list of past disparaging comments Mr. Trump had made about women and asked him if he thought that was presidential behavior. On CNN, a day after the debate, Mr. Trump stoked the fire by saying that “you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” during the exchanges.

A number of pundits said he was referring to Ms. Kelly’s menstrual cycle, but Mr. Trump has denied that, and reiterated Tuesday that was deviant thinking to assume that’s what he meant.

“Hey, look, I went to the hardest school to get into, the best school in the world, I guess you could say, the Wharton School of Finance. It’s like supergenius stuff. I came out, I built a tremendous company, I had tremendous success. ‘The Art of the Deal,’ ‘The Apprentice,’ everything. Who would make a statement like that?” he said.

In an interview with Fox News Channel’s Sean Hannity Tuesday night, Mr. Trump was asked whether he was prepared to spend $345 million dollars or more to fund his establishment-bucking campaign.

“Sure. You saw my income. My income is $400 million a year,” Mr. Trump said. “Sure, I would spend that if I am doing well!”

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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