Megyn Kelly has finally gotten around to telling us that Donald Trump threatened her after she interviewed a reporter about allegations Trump raped then-wife Ivana during their marriage. In her revelation, Kelly boasted that she refused to be intimidated by Trump. Then why did she withhold this important information until after the election and the publication of her book? UPDATED
In an interview with Dr. Phil to be aired today, Kelly talked about the “backstory” to Trump’s prolonged rampages against her that seemed to start with her August, 2015 debate question about his treatment of women:
KELLY: There was a backstory to that moment. Once he announced his candidacy for president, one of the stories that broke about him was that, in his divorce proceeding from his first wife, Ivana, she had, under oath, accused him of raping her. And she later recanted that testimony. But the news broke that, under oath, she accused him of it. And, basically, people were just running with it. So I had on the reporter, on my show.
Trump was not happy with that interview. He wasn’t happy that I put the reporter on the show. And four days before the presidential debate that has now become so well known and well seen, he called me up and threatened me. And made very clear to me that he was extremely displeased. I told him flat out, "Mr. Trump, I’m sorry you were unhappy but you don’t control the editorial on The Kelly File." And that was it, he started screaming at me. He hung up the phone and the next time we met was that Thursday night.
The interview in question was with Tim Mak, the Daily Beast reporter who broke the story about Ivana Trump’s past divorce accusations. As I noted in my 2015 post about it, Kelly spent time discussing threats Mak had received from Donald Trump's attorney over the report and called them "deeply offensive."
So if that was deeply offensive and worth discussing on a news show, why wasn’t Trump’s direct threat to her? And if it wasn’t then, it surely was after the release of the Access Hollywood video.
I think we know why Kelly stayed mum until now. It’s probably the same reason she both dangled the suggestion in her book that somebody leaked her debate question to Trump and then insisted that she hadn’t.
It’s time for at least one of the many interviewers Kelly will visit on her book tour to press her on this. In the meanwhile, nobody should let her pretend she stood up fearlessly to Trump without exploring the likelihood that she cowered to Fox.
Watch Kelly discuss being threatened by Trump to Dr. Phil, via the Daily Mail, below. Her July, 2015 interview with Mak is underneath.
"Why won’t she tell Fox News viewers her side of the Trump story before they’re forced to make a decision on the next president?"
I guess we all know why now. It's yet another reason that she should not be celebrated as some kind of gutsy girl reporter.
I do think that Kelly will attempt to act like a more objective host during this Presidency, and that even Fox News will make an attempt there, but we need to understand what that balance will be and why it will be attempted. Much of the GOP is leery of Trump in that he does not have a real value set and they know he was just waving their issues around as red meat to help stir up his and their base. They have concerns about his temperament, discipline and mostly about whether he’ll really come through on all the mean promises he made. They want him to deliver on ALL of them. Mass deportations, erasure of the Obama presidency, far right judges, prosecution of the Clintons, destruction of Medicare, you name it. So when he fails to do any of these things, Megyn Kelly will have one of his surrogates on to chide. And when he goes off message and insults fellow GOP members, or when he does something the GOP finds destabilizing, like insulting China, Megyn Kelly will take a position on how foolhardy that was.
But this “loyal opposition” will not be coming from the center by any means. It will be coming from another faction of the right.
There are multiple members of the Right who are concerned about Trump appointing people like Bannon – not because they find him abhorrent but because Bannon will cost them credibility and votes in the future. Never let these guys get away with the act that they are concerned with principles – this is about power, influence and mostly about money. And right now, the Trump team is not concerned with hiring decent people to be in his White House. They’re interested in settling scores – giving “lollipops” as one appalled GOP strategist put it this week and throwing punches. Someone the Trump people like, and who gave them good press and open support during the campaign? Likely getting a major position and a huge payday at the other end. Someone the Trump people don’t like, or who wasn’t bowing and scraping enough? Likely getting thrown out by security.
John Howard, we are the peanut gallery. Safe place to raise hell.
The amount of dirt dug up already will be dwarfed by what’s to come. Now the media who boosted him shamelessly through the primaries and campaign proper in their insatiable quest for eyes, ears and ad dollars will be able to spike their ratings whenever they like with a new Trump Scoop! There’s real money it for them now – they’ll be into him boots’n’all.
Wouldn’t want to upset the Trumpland apple cart at Fox News until you’ve made up your mind and the ink is dry. Plus, she’s pimping a book now and this has got to help sales.