Journalist Megyn Kelly sat down with the Daily Caller for an hour-long interview and looked back on her election feud with President Donald Trump – years later, does she regret any of it?
During her tenure as a Fox News anchor, Kelly moderated the first Republican presidential debate on Aug. 6. 2015, immediately asking Trump a question she knew would likely spark backlash: “You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” she began as Trump quickly replied that it was “only Rosie O’Donnell.”
“Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks,” Kelly continued. “You once told a contestant on the Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president? And how do you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton – that you are part of the war on women?” (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Megyn Kelly Broke Free Of Corporate Media. Now She’s Giving Them Hell)
Trump responded with a pointed comment, telling Kelly: “I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you’ve treated me, but I wouldn’t do that.” In the days following the debate, the feud would ramp up, with Trump telling CNN that “there was blood coming out of” Kelly’s “eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” He’d later claim to ABC News that “whatever” meant her nose.
Over four years later, Kelly is no longer a Fox News anchor. She’s left corporate media to start her own company, Devil May Care Media, and sat down with the Caller’s media reporter Shelby Talcott to discuss it all – including whether, looking back, she would re-do anything regarding the controversy with the president. (You can listen to her podcast ‘The Megyn Kelly Show’ here on Apple Podcasts.)
“Not one word,” Kelly told the Caller emphatically. “I 100% stand by the question and by my tweets the other day,” she continued, referencing tweets where she addressed comments about that time period.
“I mean I think the media doesn’t understand that objective news analysis doesn’t always bash a Republican or a Democrat, right?” she said. “Like, Trump deserved that question because what I was trying to ask him was, ‘this is what the Democrats are going to hit you with. How are you going to respond?’ And I was 100% right, they did hit him with that. Over and over and over and over.”
Kelly continued on to discuss the hate she often receives in her attempt to do “objective news,” noting that she said President-elect Joe Biden won the first presidential debate and that Trump won the next. The latter, she explained, sparked claims of “shilling” for the president.
“They feel betrayed,” Kelly said. “They thought I was on their side because I asked him that question and he attacked me for nine months. Well, I was never on their side. And I’m not on the Republicans side, either. I’m on the side of the truth, and if it happens to align with one side or another, great, good, I’m glad it works out for you.”
“I am just a reporter trying to report the truth and call it like I see ’em,” she added. (RELATED: Carly Fiorina Attacks Donald Trump, Defends Megyn Kelly)
Later on in the interview, Kelly explained that she is “completely over” the fight with Trump.
“I’m not gonna say it wasn’t affecting me while he was doing it,” she clarified. “Because it was not pleasant, and it did have real consequences in my life. But you go back and look at my coverage on ‘The Kelly File’ when he was doing that to me. Go back, for nine months.”
“I defended Trump on a lot of stuff, I hit him on a lot of stuff … I made it my mission every night to be fair to him, it was like my one goal is to check my personal feelings, because that’s what he wanted me, I felt like ‘this is what he wants, he wants me to go out there and discredit myself.’”
Kelly said because of that mindset, she “bent over backwards to be right down the middle” with Trump during that time period in particular. She also said she’d “put those shows up in front of an audience of millions any night again.”
“I’m very proud of that,” she told the Caller.