RNC Strips National Review of Debate Hosting Gig After Cover Story Attacking Trump

PHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop at Concord High School, Jan. 18, 2016, in Concord, N.H. PlayJohn Minchillo/AP Photo
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National Review will no longer be hosting a GOP debate in February after the RNC "disinvited" the conservative publication, the magazine's publisher said.

The news comes on the heels of a harsh cover story from National Review, penned by 21 conservative columnists, calling Donald Trump a “menace to American Conservatism,” to which Trump and the RNC fired back.

"National Review is a dying paper, it’s got -- its circulation is way down. Not very many people read it anymore. I mean, people don’t even think about the National Review, so I guess they want to get a little publicity, but that’s a dying paper,” Trump said Thursday night, speaking at the Outdoor Channel awards show, which includes the annual “Shot Show."

"Donald Trump is a menace to American conservatism who would take the work of generations and trample it underfoot in behalf of a populism as heedless and crude as the Donald himself,” National Review’s cover story out Friday reads.

Trump says, though, that the GOP is beginning to accept him. "I think they are warming up. I want to be honest, I have received so many phone calls from people that you would call 'establishment,' from people -- generally speaking, conservative Republicans that want to come in our team,” Trump added.

And he may be right, as National Review publisher Jack Fowler wrote Thursday that his publication was being stripped of its hosting duties for a GOP debate with CNN in late February.

"Tonight, a top official with the RNC called me to say that National Review was being disinvited. The reason: Our 'Against Trump' editorial and symposium. We expected this was coming. Small price to pay for speaking the truth about The Donald," Fowler wrote.

RNC spokesperson Sean Spicer confirmed to ABC News that National Review will no longer be participating in next month's GOP debate.

National Review was originally meant to share hosting duties for the debate with NBC, but earlier this month the broadcaster was also disinvited and CNN was given the debate.