On Wednesday’s broadcast of “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS, Fox News Channel’s Megyn Kelly sounded off on her on-and-off controversy with Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump going back to the first Republican debate moderated by her in August.
Kelly admitted there were difficult aspects in dealing with the controversy, but explained she was counseled by Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes and that she expects Trump to appear on her show again with hopes that this controversy comes to a close.
Partial transcript as follows:
ROSE: How did [Roger Ailes] counsel you when Donald said the things that he said?
KELLY: I actually spoke with Roger every day during that whole dust-up. There were some reporting that he had abandoned me or he had chosen somebody over me.
ROSE: Or he needed Trump for ratings and all those things?
KELLY: But that wasn’t true. Roger and I spoke every day for over an hour at times. And he wanted to make sure I was OK. He wanted to, you know, touch base on what he was thinking and what was happening on his end. He was hearing from Trump a lot.
ROSE: Almost every day.
KELLY: Yeah, I’m sure they were talking a lot. And he just wanted to make sure that I was OK with what he was thinking about how to handle it. I mean we were eyeball to eyeball on it. Because neither one of us wanted any sort of a war with Donald Trump. You know, and 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. So we just sort of wanted to move forward, you know, put a period at the end of it. He was obviously up set. That’s fine. That’s, you know, he’s running for president. It’s not a fun business and there are going to 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.
ROSE: Do you want him back on your show?
KELLY: I’m sure he’ll come back on eventually.
ROSE: Sooner rather than later?
KELLY: Well, it has to be just right. I think that will be a big moment. Don’t you think that will be a big television moment, right?
ROSE: Of course it will.
KELLY: So I think 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. And I want to ask him all the things people want me to ask him, you know, like why did you get so upset? What do you think about how it went in the days after, any regrets on it? You know, I think we both know the answer to that. No. but that’s fine. I mean i think it would be fascinating for he and I to have that exchange.
ROSE: Well, what prevents you from having it now?
KELLY: Nothing. I just– i think i will know when the moment is right.
ROSE: Has it been tough for you?
KELLY: No, I’ve been okay.
ROSE: I mean lots was said, or certainly some of Fox viewers who have love you had mixed emotions about this.
KELLY: I understand that. I think that politics makes people feel so fired up. And they love the candidates they love. And it’s very easy to hate and demonize the media. And that’s OK by me. That’s the job I’m in, right? That is what I have chosen. So you have to be able to take some punches.
ROSE: But, what was the toughest part for you?
KELLY: The most bizarre part was just being the news, as opposed to covering the news.
ROSE: And the things that were being said by Donald.
KELLY: I mean they were not pleasant. I’m not going to lie. That wasn’t pleasant to read. But that, it’s a tough business — politics is a tough business and journalism has become a very tough business.
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