Megyn Kelly has said that she and her network may have overestimated the anger management skills of Donald Trump ahead of the infamous debate that kicked off a feud between the Fox News host and the popular Republican presidential candidate.
Kelly was a moderator at the first Republican presidential debate in August. Early in the debate, she read off a number of Trump’s comments that could be seen as disparaging toward women. The associated question was whether those statements would come back to haunt him, should he take the nomination.
Trump took Megyn Kelly’s question as a personal attack, and he launched his own assault after the debate via social media and any other venue he could find.
I think @megynkelly should take another eleven day “unscheduled” vacation.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 23, 2015
At one point, Trump even refused to appear on Fox News at all.
For the most part, Megyn Kelly declined to engage in Trump’s one-sided war against her.
Speaking at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women summit, Megyn Kelly did address the ongoing feud and the incident that sparked it, when she defended the line of questioning that set Trump off in the first place.
“It was a comment on his electability, and what he’s likely to hear from Hillary Clinton should he be the nominee, and you’re already hearing that from Hillary Clinton,” Kelly said at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women summit. “That’s what I get paid to do: anticipate the candidate’s weaknesses and poke ’em. That’s our job, and it does require a certain amount of fearlessness.”
Kelly added that she wasn’t specifically looking to make an example out of Trump.
“No one was given a pass,” Kelly told attendees at the summit.
Breitbart reports that while that is technically true, the other candidates were all asked questions that related in some way to policy.
For instance, Chris Christie was asked about New Jersey’s credit downgrades, while Scott Walker was questioned about being too pro-life, and Mike Huckabee’s question was about how he is perceived as being too socially conservative.
On the other hand, Jeb Bush was asked about Americans being tired of the Bush dynasty.
On the subject of Trump’s reaction to her line of questioning at the debate, Kelly said, “we may have overestimated his anger management skills.”
Although Trump’s feud with Kelly was the subject of much discussion on Fox News following the debate, Megyn declined to directly engage with the irate candidate.
“It did not behoove any of us to get engaged in a war with a presidential candidate,” Megyn said at the powerful women summit. “I need to cover this man as a journalist; Fox News needs to cover this man as journalists, so there was no upside.”
Megyn Kelly’s full 20-minute appearance at the Fortune summit is available below.
In the contentious debate question that set this all off, Kelly accused Trump of calling women he doesn’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”
Although many of those insults were famously lobbed at Rosie O’Donnell, Kelly went on to clarify that she didn’t just mean Rosie.
“It was well beyond Rosie O’Donnell. Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women’s looks. You once told a contestant on 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?”
Trump has maintained that he may have insulted women, particularly Rosie O’Donnell, but that it doesn’t indicate any kind of systematic misogyny on his part. Additionally, the Celebrity Apprentice quote was said to have been taken out of context.
Megyn Kelly may have refrained from punching back at the time, but what do you think about the comments she made about Trump’s “anger management” skills at the Fortune summit?
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