Trump overshadows Republican debate even as he sits it out

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump smiles during a veteran's rally in Des MoinesBy John Whitesides, Ginger Gibson and Steve Holland DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) – Even in boycotting a debate with his Republican rivals, front-runner Donald Trump managed to upstage the event on Thursday with a typical dramatic flourish. Trump’s gamble that he could leave the battlefield to his rivals for one night appeared to pay off, with just days to go before Iowa holds the first nominating contest of the 2016 election season. Trump’s refusal to participate in the debate out of anger that Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly was a moderator prompted a flurry of last-minute phone calls with Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes that failed to resolve their dispute.

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