Megachurch Pastor Perry Noble says that while he's not endorsing Trump, he does feel the businessman successfully turned the tables on the Fox News network that hosted the Republican debate Thursday night in Iowa.
"This is NOT an endorsement. ... However, is Trump 'Trumping' FOX or what?!?!" the NewSpring Church pastor tweeted Thursday evening.
Instead of attending the debate with seven other Republican presidential candidates, Trump held a rally at Drake University in Des Moines that raised some $6 million that will be donated to local veterans' organizations.
In a rare show of solidarity, Donald Trump's Republican presidential rivals Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum joined the billionaire frontrunner at the benefit event that was held at the same time as the top tier Fox News Republican debate, The Christian Post reported.
During the event, Trump href="http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/elections/2016/01/28/donald-trump-fox-news-debate-veterans/79478816/" target="_blank">told the audience: "I didn't want to be here, I have to be honest."
"When you're treated badly you have to stick up for your rights," Trump continued.
"They [Fox] called a few minutes ago," he added. "By now they're all tuned in," he said of viewership. "We have more cameras than they do by quite a bit."
Preliminary ratings results released by Nielsen indicate that despite Trump's efforts, the Fox News-hosted debate scored higher ratings than his rally, with the network earning a score of 8.4, and Trump's debate earning a score of about one quarter of that.
While Trump refused to attend the Fox News debate allegedly because of host Megyn Kelly, the network released a statement saying it would not pander to the demands of a politician and would maintain its journalistic integrity despite "terrorization."
The network accused a member of Trump's campaign team of wielding a threat against Kelly that suggested she should ask more fair questions of the presidential candidate this time around.
"We can't give in to terrorizations toward any of our employees. Trump is still welcome at Thursday night's debate and will be treated fairly, just as he has been during his 132 appearances on Fox News & Fox Business, but he can't dictate the moderators or the questions," Fox News said in its statement.