In a statement released on Friday, Donald Trump officially backed out of a debate with Sen. Bernie Sanders.
During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Trump told Kimmel that if a network ponied up millions of dollars to be donated to charity, he would participate. However, after the statement picked up traction and multiple networks reached out to both campaigns showing interest, Trump opted out. He stated, “Based on the fact that the Democratic nominating process is totally rigged and Crooked Hillary Clinton and Deborah Waserman Schultz will not allow Bernie Sanders to win, and now that I am the presumptive Republican nominee, it seems inappropriate that I would debate the second place finisher.”
Trump’s refusal to debate came as a surprise to many, because, according to a CBS News article, talks between the two campaigns were progressing and details were being hammered out.
In a statement released on Friday, Sanders expressed his disappointment, saying, “I hope that he changes his mind once again and comes on board.”
The Trump pull-out comes on the heels of another failed debate after Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton declined an invitation to debate Sanders. Clinton spokeswoman Jennifer Palmieri said on Monday in a press release, “We believe that Hillary Clinton’s time is best spent campaigning and meeting directly with voters across California.”