Donald Trump, a target of tough questioning during the first Republican presidential debate, was "disinvited" from a noteworthy GOP event in Atlanta for comments the real estate mogul made about Fox News' Megyn Kelly. Speaking to CNN after the debate, Trump criticized debate moderator Kelly's line of questioning that painted him as a misogynist, saying of Kelly, "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever."
Trump's comments concerning Kelly quickly alienated and infuriated many members of the Republican Party. RedState Gathering, a meeting of conservative activists scheduled to take place Saturday, canceled Trump's invitation to the conference. In an open letter to attendees, organizer Erick Erickson explained why Trump was asked not to attend the gathering; Kelly was invited in Trump's place, USA Today reports.
"I have tried to give a great deal of latitude to Donald Trump in his run for the Presidency. He is not a professional politician and is known for being a blunt talker," Erickson wrote. "But there are even lines blunt talkers and unprofessional politicians should not cross. Decency is one of those lines. As much as I do personally like Donald Trump, his comment about Megyn Kelly on CNN is a bridge too far for me."
Erickson added of Trump's Kelly remarks, "I think there is no way to otherwise interpret Mr. Trump’s comment." However, Trump's campaign soon issued a statement explaining that the candidate had misspoken. "Mr. Trump made Megyn Kelly look really bad — she was a mess with her anger and totally caught off guard. Mr. Trump said 'blood was coming out of her eyes and whatever' meaning nose, but wanted to move on to more important topics," the Trump campaign said in a statement. "Only a deviant would think anything else."
Trump's statement went on to call Erickson a "total loser." "He has a history of supporting establishment losers in failed campaigns so it is an honor to be uninvited from his event," Trump's campaign said of Erickson. "Mr. Trump is an outsider and does not fit his agenda."
After being uninvited, Trump turned to Twitter to echo his debate claims that there is too much political correctness in America now. "So many 'politically correct' fools in our country. We have to all get back to work and stop wasting time and energy on nonsense," he tweeted. "@redstate I miss you all, and thanks for all of your support. Political correctness is killing our country. 'weakness.'"
Trump's provocative comments have even driven away members of his own campaign. Roger Stone, the businessman's top political advisor, either quit or was fired from the campaign Friday night, CNN reports. "Mr. Trump fired Roger Stone last night," A Trump spokesperson said Saturday. "We have a tremendously successful campaign and Roger wanted to use the campaign for his own personal publicity. He has had a number of articles about him recently and Mr. Trump wants to keep the focus of the campaign on how to Make America Great Again."
However, in a resignation letter, Stone reportedly wrote to Trump, "current controversies involving personalities and provocative media fights have reached such a high volume that it has distracted attention from your platform and overwhelmed your core message. With this current direction of the candidacy, I no longer can remain involved in your campaign."
Stone marks the second member of the Trump campaign to part ways with the mogul this week: Trump was also forced to fire campaign advisor Sam Nunberg over racist comments he posted on Facebook.