Jan 29, 2016 11:05 AM

Steinhauser: Donald Trump tells NH1 News 'Ted Cruz is going down' in exclusive interview

NH1 News Political Director

NASHUA – Donald Trump says that Ted Cruz got “very badly hurt” at Thursday night’s GOP presidential debate in Iowa that the Republican front runner decided not to attend.

And in a one-on-one interview with NH1 News, Trump added that “Ted Cruz is going down.”

With Trump feuding with Fox News and hosting his own rival event in Des Moines Thursday night that he says raised $6 million for veterans, Cruz faced numerous attacks from the other presidential candidates on the stage.

Asked if not attending the debate, which put Cruz in the firing line, was by design, Trump said “I’d like to tell you it was by design, maybe it was by instinct. It was not a good night for him, and it wasn’t good for a couple of the other folks. It was not good at all. In the mean time I had my forum and I raised six million dollars for veterans and it was a good night for us.”

Fox News says that Thursday Trump said he would attend their debate if they made a $5 million donation to the charity of Trump’s choice.

Asked about that by NH1 News, Trump said “yeah, I want money to go to charity and Fox News and frankly others like CNN, they’re making a fortune on the debates. Fox News did something which is inappropriate. They wanted to get me in the debate. They would have gotten one of the highest ratings ever if they had the full contingent, meaning if they had me in it. I wanted to do it but I wanted five million dollars to go to the veterans and they were unable to come up with that money. And I raised six million dollars, as you saw, for the veterans by doing my own event. And I actually think that doing my own event was better for me than the debate. It worked out to be fantastic. We had a packed house, thousands and thousands of people. It got coverage to the same extent as the debate and maybe more. But I raised six million dollars for the veterans, so I was very proud of that.”

Asked if he'll attend next Saturday's Republican presidential debate in New Hampshire, Trump said "I think I will be there. I look forward to it. I look forward to the debates, as you know."

Trump spoke with NH1 News moments before holding a jam-packed rally at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua. Trump flew to New Hampshire early Friday morning to headline the event, before returning to Iowa to campaign in advance of Monday’s caucuses.

Paul Steinhauser is the Political Director for NH1 News. You can email him at psteinhauser@nh1.com and follow him on Twitter, @SteinhauserNH1.

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