Donald Trump reportedly broke Fox News’ debate rules on Thursday night when he consulted with his campaign manager on stage during the first commercial break of the Republican debate, rival campaign sources told CNN.
According to the CNN report, Mr. Trump’s campaign manager Corey Lewandowski came on stage to speak with the GOP front-runner as soon as the debate went to commercial.
A Fox News source said Mr. Lewandowski refused to leave the stage when asked to do so by network staff.
Fox News and other networks strictly forbid candidates from talking with their campaign managers during a debate.
Fox News then allowed the other candidates to consult with their campaign advisers to even the odds at the debate, according to CNN.
But sources told CNN that Thursday night’s example was just the latest in a string of incidents where Mr. Trump has consulted with his campaign manager during debate commercials.
Mr. Trump typically consulted with Mr. Lewandowski backstage, but Thursday’s debate in Detroit marked a new extreme as Mr. Lewandowski walked directly out on stage to talk with his boss.
Exactly what Mr. Trump and Mr. Lewandowski discussed is unclear, though at one point during a break, Mr. Trump handed Fox News moderators a fax from the Better Business Bureau showing that they had upgraded their rating of Trump University to an “A” grade, a point Mr. Trump had tried to make while being asked to defend the “D-” grade the university received in 2010, CNN reported.