UPDATED with video and GMA appearance: Megyn Kelly is “pretty sure” Donald Trump will show up for Fox’s March 3 Republican debate, though she says the candidate has yet to confirm. And, no, she doesn’t have any specific plans for her re-match with the man who publicly called her a lightweight and unprofessional and tried to have her removed from Fox News Channel’s second GOP debate. Kelly joked with George Stephanopoulos on ABC’s Good Morning America that she and debate co-moderators Bret Baier and Chris Wallace will “just move our Trump questions from the last debate over to this debate and finally get to ask them.” She dodged his question as to how many Republican candidates she thinks will survive New Hampshire and show up at that debate, and, when asked same on the Dem side said, “You used to be in politics; what do you think?”
As for Trump’s remarks about her, Kelly said the “problem with language like ‘bimbo’ is that it gins up other comments along whose lines, which is diminishing not just to the woman who’s being attacked but to women in general.”
Previous: “Well, so Donald Trump did not feel the same,” Megyn Kelly began immediately after NBC’s Jimmy Fallon welcomed her to The Tonight Show with fulsome praise of her performances moderating two GOP debates on Fox News Channel.
We never thought anyone would react to the questions” the way Trump did to her question, about how he talks about women. “He got a tough question but they all got tough questions,” she told Fallon. “That opening round… was all about electability. We were trying to get to: ‘What’s your weak spot? What’s going to prevent you from getting the nomination, what’s going to prevent you from winning against Hillary who’s going to be the likely Democratic nominee.”
Out of the gate, she’d asked Trump, “You’ve called women you don’t like ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘’slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals’. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president? And how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who is likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?”
“All those guys got it right it in the kisser,” Kelly insisted. “They want George Washington’s job! I’m a member of the press and we’re supposed to press.”
That exchange turned FNC’s primetime star into a household name and led to one of the most discussed candidate comments of the election cycle’s early stages, when Trump subsequently said of Kelly’s question-asking: “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her…. wherever.”
What followed was a “surreal six months,” Kelly acknowledged last night, joking, “I can no longer go on Twitter.”
Trump pulled out of her network’s next GOP debate, first saying it was about her, then about a statement her boss had put out “then he said it was about a gum wrapper on the floor – there were a lot of reasons he gave,” she described to Fallon.
(Trump bailed on that debate late last month, saying, “Megyn Kelly’s really biased against me — she knows that, I know that, everybody knows that.” Fox News not only took the bait, it ran with it. “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president,” a network spokesman said. “A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”)
According to Kelly, Trump did not, as has been said, steadfastly refuse to participate. “There was a report that came out late that day of the debate, like 2:30, 3:30 in the afternoon, saying he’s coming. We had just pulled all of our Trump questions out of our debate files. When we went out there, we had one big Trump pile and one big Non-Trump pile,” she said.
“If nothing else, he gave all these other guys all this oxygen,” she said of his no-show. “When Trump’s in the room he gets a lot of oxygen. Say what you will, he’s electrified the Republican base….He’s introduced a lot of issues in this election that Republicans wanted to talk about,” she said.
“Do we know if Donald Trump’s coming to this one?” Fallon asked of the March debate.
“He hasn’t committed,” she responded.
Trump bailed on FNC’s second debate late last month, saying, “Megyn Kelly’s really biased against me — she knows that, I know that, everybody knows that.” Fox News not only took the bait, it ran with it. “We learned from a secret back channel that the Ayatollah and Putin both intend to treat Donald Trump unfairly when they meet with him if he becomes president,” a network spokesman said. “A nefarious source tells us that Trump has his own secret plan to replace the Cabinet with his Twitter followers to see if he should even go to those meetings.”