Now that Megyn Kelly has agreed to a cease-fire with Donald Trump—who is appearing on the May 17 debut of her Fox Television network series, Megyn Kelly Presents—she is admitting to have been a little rattled by the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s relentless attacks on her.
“I’m a normal person,” the Fox News star told Kelly Ripa and Michael Strahan on Monday’s edition of Live! with Kelly and Michael—dismissing Ripa’s assertion that she’s unflappable and fearless. “I don’t think it’s true of anybody. I cry. I have fear. Of course it’s been a difficult year. Thank God I have him [her husband, novelist Douglas Brunt] and I have my three loveys [their three young children] who ground me and get me through everything in life.”
Kelly, who said she takes her cue on pushing through fear and adopting the Nike slogan “Just do it” from Navy Seals she’s spoken with, added: “I tell the gals on my team, ‘Keep your head down, shoulders back, forge ahead,” and push through the moment…Next time, it’s easier.”
Kelly, who followed Jodie Foster as a guest but was given three segments (one more than the director-movie star), showed a brief clip of her encounter with Trump, in which she asked the candidate if his tweets and other insults after the Aug. 6 Fox News Republican debate—in which she grilled him about his off-color comments about women—were genuine expressions of rage.
“You seemed very angry…Was that strategy?” she asks the candidate.
“Well, I’m a real person,” Trump answers. “I don’t say, ‘Oh gee, I’m angry tonight, but tomorrow you’re my best friend.’” He adds that conflict “could happen again between us, even during this particular interview. I have great respect that you were able to call me and say, ‘Let’s get together and let’s talk.’ To me, I would not have done that.”
Trump was referring to Kelly’s April 13 visit to Trump Tower to pitch the reality show billionaire on sitting for an interview for her broadcast network program—which is modeled on Barbara Walters’s “Fascinating People” specials and produced by Walters’s longtime producer Bill Geddie.
“After months of him being very unhappy with me, I reached out to him,” Kelly said on Live! “I had always wanted to reach out to him from the beginning, from the August 6th debate, because I’m a journalist. I want to be on the sidelines. I don’t want to be on the playing field. He kept putting me on the playing field and I just wanted to get past that. But he was so angry for so long, and I didn’t want to reach out to him while he was angry.”
Kelly said she waited for a window of opportunity when there was a “lull” in Trump’s insults—which included mocking her menstrual cycle during a CNN interview and tweeted incessantly that she is “overrated,” to say nothing of the ugly and occasionally threatening attacks on Kelly unleashed on social media by the candidate’s ardent followers.
“And I seized upon it, and asked him if he would meet, and he said he would,” Kelly recounted. “And I went to Trump Tower, and it was an electric morning, and we had a good exchange.”
She added, pointedly, “What we did not discuss during that hour-long meeting at Trump Tower was anything that had happened between the two of us.”
That conversation—in which the candidate and the Fox anchor hashed over the famous debate—apparently was saved for Megyn Kelly Presents.
“And I asked about [the debate]..and why he thought it was so unfair, and we get into that,” she said on Live!, reiterating her her position that her tough question to Trump during that debate was entirely fair and balanced.
“I asked him about words he has used about women,” Kelly continued. “Everything I said came from his mouth, and my point was not to pass Megyn Kelly’s judgment on his language. It was to say ‘Hillary Clinton is the likely Democratic nominee. You know she’s going to hit with you with this. You have a long history of making comments about women….So why should these Republicans make you their nominee?’—because the whole [debate] round was about electability.”
Kelly hardly needed to add that candidate Clinton is smacking Trump around with his past arguably misogynistic remarks.
“We’ve already seen her doing this,” Kelly noted.
In another part of her appearance Monday, Kelly told about chatting with disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner—the husband of Clinton’s long-suffering aide Huma Abedin—during a chance meeting at last Monday’s Met Ball.
“He told me he met Madonna there,” Kelly said, adding that in the middle of Weiner’s conversation with the pop icon, “Madonna turns to her handler and says, ‘Who the blank is this?’ right in front of him. Poor Weiner.”