Conservative talk show host Bill O'Reilly recently quoted Scripture to Donald Trump in an attempt to convince him to attend Thursday's presidential debate after the billionaire businessman announced he plans to boycott the upcoming event.
During an appearance on the "O'Reilly Factor" on Tuesday, Trump explained that he was forced to bypass the debate, which takes place just days before the Iowa caucuses, because of a "childish" statement released by Fox News, which poked fun at his approach to the presidency as he demanded it removes Megyn Kelly as a debate host.
"I'm trying to convince you that your tack is wrong, because it's better for the folks to see you in the debate format," O'Reilly said. "You're running for president. I believe you want to improve the country. I believe that personally."
When Trump refused give in, stating, "This has to do with the stupidity of Fox and what they did," O'Reilly attempted to appeal to the GOP frontrunner's Christian faith.
"In your Christian faith, there is a very significant tenet, and that's the tenet of forgiveness," O'Reilly said. "I think you should be the bigger man. Don't you think that's the right thing to do?"
"It probably is," Trump agreed. "But y' know it's called an eye for an eye. I guess also you can look at it that way."
"No, no, no," O'Reilly countered. "That's Old Testament. If you're the Christian, the eye-for-the-eye rule goes out. Here's what it is: Turning the other cheek."
The Fox News host physically turned his cheek and patted himself to show what he meant.
"I don't like being taken advantage of. ... I don't like that," Trump responded.
"You have in this debate format the upper hand - you have sixty seconds off the top to tell the moderator, 'You're a pinhead, you're off the mark and here's what I want to say'," said O'Reilly. "By walking away from it, you lose the opportunity to persuade people you are a strong leader."
Despite O'Reilly's pleas, Trump did not budge from his decision, saying that he has "zero respect for Megyn Kelly," who he says is "highly overrated."
"I was not treated well by Fox," he said. "They came out with a ridiculous PR statement, it was, like, drawn up by a child and it was a taunt and I said, you know, how much of this do you take?"
Instead of participating in Thursday's debate, Trump has said he will attend an event for the Wounded Warrior Project.
"We'll raise money for the vets," he told reporters. "I was all set to do the debate. I came here to do the debate. When they sent out the wise-guy press releases a little while ago, done by some PR person, along with Roger Ailes, I said: 'Bye, bye.'"
On Tuesday, Fox News Channel Chairman and Chief Executive Roger Ailes said the network would defend Kelly even if it meant losing Trump in the debate.
"Megyn Kelly is an excellent journalist, and the entire network stands behind her," Ailes said. "She will absolutely be on the debate stage on Thursday night."
The 7th Republican presidential debate will be held on Thursday, January 28 at the Iowa Events Center. The debate, which will be monitored by Megyn Kelly, Bret Baier and Chris Wallace, will air at 9 PM EST on Fox News.