Republican front-runner Donald Trump said Thursday morning that two additional presidential candidates have contacted him, asking to also participate in his veterans benefit event Thursday night.
Trump is hosting the event at the same time as Thursday’s GOP debate, which he is boycotting as a stated protest against the fact that Fox News host Megyn Kelly will be one of the debate moderators.
“Wow, two candidates called last night and said they want to go to my event tonight at Drake University,” Trump tweeted early Thursday morning, without naming which two candidates contacted him.
Wow, two candidates called last night and said they want to go to my event tonight at Drake University.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 28, 2016
However, it was revealed Thursday afternoon that former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum will be the candidates attending Trump’s event. Both candidates are in Thursday’s “undercard” debate.
CNN’s Jim Acosta first reported the news of Huckabee:
Scoop: Huckabee will be attending the Trump vets event tonight, a Huckabee spokesman tells me.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) January 28, 2016
Just confirmed @Acosta’s reporting that Mike Huckabee will attend Donald Trump’s veterans event in Des Moines tonight.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) January 28, 2016
ABC News later confirmed the news of Santorum:
NEW: Rick Santorum will also attend Donald Trump Iowa event tonight, campaign aide confirms to @JTSantucci.
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) January 28, 2016
Trump’s event, which will be hosted at Drake University, is approximately only three miles from where the debate will be taking place.
According to the Trump campaign, the event, which was announced Wednesday afternoon, will raise money for various veterans charity organizations.
Trump has taken heat for backing out of Thursday’s debate, but none was more hot than that from Ted Cruz, who said Wednesday that he didn’t buy Trump’s “Megyn Kelly excuse.” Instead, Cruz believes Trump is boycotting Thursday’s debate because he is too scared to defend his record.
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