Sunday just wasn’t Megyn Kelly’s night. The former Fox news personality scored an elusive interview with Russian President Vladimir Putin in what was to be a highly anticipated, long-awaited TV event, but instead of the hard-hitting back-and-forth that viewers were promised, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly instead proved to be a lukewarm flop.
The veteran journalist’s interview with Putin marked her NBC debut, but it was clear from the start that Kelly wasn’t quite able to wrangle any answers out of the enigmatic leader.
When Kelly asked Putin about the alleged meetings between President Trump’s team and the U.S. Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak, Putin flat-out denied any meetings. “There were no meetings,” he said through an interpreter.
“No meetings between Ambassador Kislyak and anybody from the Trump campaign?” she asked. Putin said he didn’t know, and when pressed, he lashed out at Kelly. “That’s completely nonsense! Do you even understand what you’re asking, or not?” he said.
Kelly also attempted to ask Putin directly about Russian interference with the U.S.’s 2016 presidential elections, but the Russian president was similarly dismissive.
“What the experts say is that this couldn’t have been faked,” Kelly said. “That it’s a hundred factors that point to Russia.” Here, she cited a number of cyber-hacking tools that U.S. intelligence has identified as having been used by Russian operatives. “All of them, all of them point to Russia, and none of them points to anyone other than Russia.”
Putin didn’t seem to take the accusation seriously. “What fingerprints or hoof-prints or horn-prints, what are you talking about?” he asked. “IP addresses? They can be invented, you know? There are a lot of specialists who can even make it so it comes from your home IP address, as if your 3-year-old daughter carried out the attack.”
Viewers who were baffled by Kelly’s lack of control over the conversation took to Twitter to air their grievances.
Megyn Kelly got owned by Putin. Every single question she tried to trap him he simply just beat her. Megyn Kelly ruined every thing she had.
— Mike (@mike4193496) June 5, 2017
Watching @megynkelly with Putin reminds me of the #1 negotiation lesson I learned at the UN: moral arguments don’t work with some countries.
— Richard Grenell (@RichardGrenell) June 5, 2017
Summing up Megyn Kelly’s interview with Putin
Kelly: “Any comments on these conspiracy theories?”
Putin: “Are you serious?”
— Pamela Moore (@Pamela_Moore13) June 4, 2017
Putin is Kelly’s first big interview for NBC, and her most high-profile following her sit-down with then-presidential candidate Trump for Fox back in May 2016.