CNN won't donate $5 million for Trump to debate

Republican U.S. presidential candidate businessman Donald Trump speaks at the debate held by Fox Business Network for the top 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, November 10, 2015. REUTERS/Darren Hauck
REUTERS

CNN President Jeff Zucker said Thursday that the network will not pay Republican front runner Donald Trump $5 million in order to secure presence at their upcoming debate, despite Trump's demands.

"We do not pay candidates to appear," Zucker said during an interview with BuzzFeed editor Ben Smith at the Paley Center for Media.

During a rally in Macon, Georgia earlier this week, Trump said, "I won't do the debate unless they pay me $5 million dollars." He said the proceeds would be donated to veterans.

The next debate is scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 15 in Las Vegas, Nevada. It will be the fifth Republican debate of the 2016 GOP primary.

Trump had raised the idea of being paid to participate in the last CNN Republican debate in September, when he wrote in a letter to CNN president Jeff Zucker, "While I refuse to brag, and you know very well, this tremendous increase in viewer interest is due 100% to Donald J. Trump."

Trump said, at the time that Zucker should donate all the profits that CNN was receiving from increased advertising rates to veterans groups.

CNN did not pay, but Trump still appeared at the debate.

  • Rebecca Kaplan

    Rebecca Kaplan is a political reporter for CBSNews.com.