Donald Trump banned from conservative meeting after blood comments
Donald Trump has been barred from a high-profile gathering of conservative activists after making controversial comments following a Republican presidential debate.
His latest incendiary comment, about one of the Fox News moderators from the Republican presidential debate on Thursday, has led to a scolding by the party and condemnation by organisers of the RedState Gathering.
Mr Trump's absence from the programme threatened to overshadow appearances by a number of his rivals, including former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, senator Ted Cruz of Texas, former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin governor Scott Walker.
The billionaire businessman lashed out against Fox News' Megyn Kelly for her questions during the campaign's first debate. She had asked him about his use of derogatory language towards women and whether it reflected the "temperament of a man we should elect as president".
Referring to Ms Kelly's questions, Mr Trump told CNN in an interview on Friday: "There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
Soon after the interview aired, RedState's Erick Erickson banned Mr Trump from the event's line-up.
"I just don't want someone on stage who gets a hostile question from a lady and his first inclination is to imply it was hormonal. It just was wrong," Mr Erickson wrote on the RedState website.
He said that "while Mr Trump resonates with a lot of people with his bluntness, including me to a degree, there are just real lines of decency a person running for president should not cross".
A statement from Mr Trump's campaign said: "This is just another example of weakness through being politically correct. For all of the people who were looking forward to Mr Trump coming, we will miss you. Blame Erick Erickson, your weak and pathetic leader," according to a campaign statement.
The Republican National Committee, treading carefully about the current front-runner for the party's 2016 nomination, called on Mr Trump to "immediately clarify" his comment and said it would be "highly inappropriate" if Mr Trump stood by his remarks.
Mr Trump needs "to understand that he is seeking the presidency of the United States now and that words do matter", RNC spokesman Sean Spicer told NBC's Today show.
"I'm hoping that Mr Trump, because he does speak off the cuff, because he doesn't ascribe to political correctness, was speaking in a way that wasn't fully thought out," Mr Spicer said.
Mr Erickson said he had invited Ms Kelly to attend in place of Mr Trump in the evening.