Recently, Megyn Kelly tried to justify having withheld information about Donald Trump’s threats to her by saying she didn’t want to “add fuel to the fire” and that the news would not have affected the election. But in a Fox News interview yesterday, Kelly hinted at a different reality. Instead of exploring for more details, Fox host Howard Kurtz dropped the subject like a hot potato.
As I have previously written, Kelly reveals in her new book that Trump began attacking her before the now-famous debate question, after she interviewed a reporter who wrote about Trump’s ex-wife’s allegations of rape against him. This would have been information very relevant to the then-early 2016 presidential campaign. But Kelly kept mum about it all until the release of her book after the election.
Kelly’s explanation for this was, in my opinion, disgraceful:
KELLY: I didn’t want to be the story, but Trump kept making me the story and I certainly didn’t want to add fuel to that fire. I didn’t want to run out there and do a boo-hoo, like look at what this is doing to my life. I just wanted to move on, wanted to stand him down, I didn’t want to aggravate his supporters anymore over whom Trump has an enormous effect. Anything I say in this book was not going to bring Trump down. If you think the Access Hollywood bus and the 12 female accusers coming forward and all the other stuff didn’t bring Trump down, you think my book would, I think you’re deluding yourself.
I explained what was so wrong about this in a previous post. But Kelly's comments to Kurtz yesterday undercut even that flimsy excuse.
KELLY: The opening chapter of the book is a real page-turner. And there’s a scene in which Howie Kurtz comes over to me, right before that presidential debate, and says, “What’s going on?” And I say, "If only I could tell you, you would realize it is the biggest story in the country."
…I remember that moment distinctly because at that moment, I thought it was a huge deal that the Republican frontrunner was threatening me, had threatened to unleash his beautiful Twitter account against me, four days before a presidential debate. Little did I know how that would pale in comparison to what would ultimately happen.
In other words, four days before there became a public “fire” she didn’t want to add fuel to, Kelly sat on what she acknowledged was “the biggest story in the country.”
She now says it wouldn’t have mattered if she had said anything but she clearly didn’t know any of that then.
So why on earth would any “straight news anchor,” as Kelly likes to fashion herself, stay mum about what she thought was “the biggest story in the country?”
We probably know why: because nobody at Fox would dare break a huge story that was so unflattering to Trump. But, like a good Fox foot soldier, Kurtz didn’t press for more information.
The level of collusion between Fox and Trump was also hinted at when Kurtz brought up what has been reported as a leak from Fox to Trump about Kelly’s debate question. Kelly has denied the question was leaked. But her “clarification” to Kurtz makes it clear something was leaked:
KELLY: What I write was that the day before the debate, he had called one of our Fox News executives and said that he had heard my first question for him was going to be a very pointed question. But he did not know what the question was.
Gee, don’t you think Kurtz might have asked how Trump would have known? Or even what, exactly, Trump knew? Especially since, like Kelly, Kurtz has excoriated Donna Brazile for allegedly leaking a CNN debate question to Hillary Clinton and also complained that CNN had not been more transparent about it.
Kelly also accused unnamed TV hosts of arranging with Trump in advance to ask him critical questions so as to appear to have some credibility. But I’ll have more on that in my next post.
Meanwhile, watch Kelly perhaps reveal more than she thought she was below, from the November 20, 2016 MediaBuzz.