UPDATE: Newsmax figured it out at 3:11 p.m., posting it in a not-so-prominent location.
Either Newsmax is the only national media outlet in the U.S. that doesn't know Donald Trump has pulled out of moderating their debate, or they're having a real tough time crafting their damage-control plan at their West Palm Beach headquarters.
It seems that Politico was the first media outlet to post the statement Trump released about dropping the debate -- posting it at 2:05 p.m. -- and at the time of this post, the only news on the Newsmax website "about" the debate are stories surrounding Trump's book sales.
With just two GOP candidates confirming they'd attend the debate, Trump thinks no one wanted to go because they're afraid of him running for president too.
In reality, it's because Trump was about to host a circus with people who were running for president, although just two candidates -- Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman -- made statements to that effect.
Newsmax, however, is covering Trump's book sales.
Posted at 11:23 a.m. today -- under the headline of "Trump: Right Leader Can Save America" -- is a story about Trump signing books in Boca Raton.
Last night -- "Amazon Sells Out of Trump Book in First Week."
A quick search on the site of the book title brings up 450 results.
The news about the debate on "News"max? M.I.A.
That said, here's what Trump says in his statement (oh yeah, don't forget to watch the Apprentice):
The Republican Party candidates are very concerned that sometime after the final episode of The Apprentice, on May 20th, when the equal time provisions are no longer applicable to me, I will announce my candidacy for President of the United States as an Independent and that, unless I conclusively agree not to run as an Independent, they will not agree to attend or be a part of the Newsmax debate scheduled for December 27, 2011. It is very important to me that the right Republican candidate be chosen to defeat the failed and very destructive Obama Administration, but if that Republican, in my opinion, is not the right candidate, I am not willing to give up my right to run as an Independent candidate. Therefore, so that there is no conflict of interest within the Republican Party, I have decided not to be the moderator of the Newsmax debate. The American people are embarrassed by the gridlock currently taking place in Washington. I must leave all of my options open because, above all else, we must make America great again!
I would like to thank Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum for having the courage, conviction, and confidence to immediately accept being a part of the Newsmax debate. I believe this would not only have been the most watched debate, but also the most substantive and interesting debate!
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