OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
SiriusXM podcaster and former Fox News star Megyn Kelly finally got former President Donald Trump to sit down for an interview with her seven years after a controversial question during the first 2016 GOP presidential debate left them both estranged.
In an appearance on Newsmax TV following the airing of her interview (see video below), Kelly told host and former Fox colleague Eric Bolling that Trump is “still ticked off” about the question asked him during the debate — his labeling of women he didn’t like “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”
“I like Trump,” Kelly said. “You know, our relationship is complicated a little, I think on both ends, because of everything that happened around that question, that debate.”
“Anyway, it’s a little complicated, but I think we both respect each other,” she added. “It’s kind of like two silverback gorillas, right? He knows, even though I like him, I have to ask him tough questions because that’s my job, and I know that even though he’s inclined to like me, he’s still ticked off about that debate question.”
To her way of thinking, the relationship between them both makes for great television.
“So there’s a little friction behind our relationship, and I think it works on television, frankly,” she told Bolling. “It’s a dynamic that works, and so at times, it got a little contentious, but overall, I think we have a begrudging respect for one another. And as you know, as a journalist, I’ll take it. I’d much rather people respect me than love me. I’m not a politician, so that’s the game I’m in, and he did fine.”
“He knew I wasn’t gonna softball it,” Kelly noted further. “He knew that I was going to go to places like the criminal indictments, which, frankly, he shouldn’t be talking about at all, but he’s chosen to, and not only did he give the interview, he sat for longer.
“It was supposed to be forty-five minutes. He gave me an hour and 20 [minutes], so you don’t have to do that. He’s not like ‘President Basement,’ who’s constantly hiding from the media — not that they would ask tough questions,” Kelly, who is an attorney by training, added.
During the interview, Trump called it a “bad question,” but he managed to escape it because he responded, “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”
Kelly pushed back and said it was “a great question” before adding, “Your poll numbers went up! Let’s move past it.”
Donald Trump and @MegynKelly rehash THAT debate moment from 2015:
"That was a bad question…"
"That was a great question…"
"You handled it well, your poll numbers went up…"
"…I came up with a good answer."
— The Megyn Kelly Show (@MegynKellyShow) September 14, 2023
Kelly excitedly announced her interview with Trump last week on her show.
“I want to start today with a big announcement, huge, you might say,” Kelly said to open her program. “Here at ‘The Megyn Kelly Show,’ we have welcomed many of the 2024 contenders. Vivek Ramaswamy has been on a bunch of times, Nikki Haley, Tim Scott, Chris Christie.”
“You may remember my lengthy sit down just last month or late July with Governor Ron DeSantis. Even RFKJ has been here since his announcement as well as before,” she added, using Democratic contender Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s initials.
“But next week I will be interviewing former President Donald Trump,” she said. “It will be my first interview with the former president in seven years, and there is so much to get to. I am really looking forward to this. It is going to be great.”
“It’s going to be spicy, and it’s going to be tough, but it’s going to be good, and hopefully we both are going to enjoy it,” Kelly noted further. “I think you all are going to enjoy it a lot too. We are going to have a lot of time to get into a variety of topics in person, sitting down with him in person.”
“I am really looking forward to bringing you this one and many more to come,” Kelly explained. “I’m very glad that he agreed to do it. He’s not saying yes to everyone and to his credit Donald Trump knows that I’m not somebody that suffers from Trump derangement syndrome like the vast majority of people in the media but I’m also not a sycophant.
“So I’m not going to go in there and be a boot licker,” she concluded, adding, “It’s going to be fun, and he can handle it perfectly well.”