Two months after Fox News host Megyn Kelly drew the ire of Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump after targeting him with tough questions at the first GOP debate, Kelly spoke to Charlie Rose to reveal why the red-hot war of words between her and Trump burned out so quickly.
As Kelly told Rose (via Mediate), both she and Fox News felt it was bad for business to alienate Trump. “Neither one of us wanted any sort of a war with Donald Trump. We didn’t think that benefitted the channel, we didn’t think it benefitted me and we don’t think it benefitted Donald Trump, and I think Donald Trump would say that now,” Kelly said.
She continued, “So we just sort of wanted to move forward. Put a period at the end of it. [Trump] was obviously upset. That’s fine; he’s running for president, it’s not a fun business, there’s gonna be ups and downs and I know he considered that a down. So we just wanted to forge forward and try to put it behind us, not pour any more fuel on that fire.”
Following the debate, Trump criticized the line of questioning he faced from Kelly – including one that painted the mogul as a misogynist who called women “fat pigs” and “slobs” – telling CNN that “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her… wherever.” A spokesperson for the candidate later claimed Trump was talking about her nose and not menstruation (“Only a deviant would think anything else,” the spokesperson said.) In the immediate aftermath of Trump’s Kelly comments, he was “disinvited” from the prominent RedState Gathering event in Atlanta.
However, when it was revealed that the real estate mogul helped propel the first GOP debate to record-setting ratings, Fox News and Trump quickly buried their feud. “Donald Trump and I spoke today,” Fox News president Roger Ailes said in August. “We discussed our concerns, and I again expressed my confidence in Megyn Kelly. She is a brilliant journalist, and I support her 100 percent … I assured him that we will continue to cover this campaign with fairness and balance. We had a blunt, but cordial, conversation, and the air has been cleared.”
Two months after the incident, Kelly is open for Trump to return to her program, recognizing it would be great for ratings. “I’m sure he’ll come back on eventually,” Kelly told Rose. “Don’t you think that’ll be a big television moment? We have to handle that just right; I can’t just pop him up there any night like I would any other presidential candidate because people will be anticipating that exchange. I want to ask him all the things people want me to ask him. ‘Why did you get so upset?’ What do you think about how it went in the days after?’ ‘Any regrets on it?’ And I think we both know the answer to that: ‘No.'”