Megyn Kelly Will Moderate GOP Debate Number 7 & Donald Trump Isn't Pleased
Donald Trump's attacks on Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly may not be letting up anytime soon if this weekend's confirmation is any indication. On Saturday, Trump claimed that Kelly was "biased" and said that she should not be allowed to host the network's next Republican primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa, which is slated just days ahead of the crucial Iowa caucuses on Feb. 1. In response, Fox declared in a statement late Saturday that Kelly would moderate the GOP debate regardless of Trump's objections.
"Megyn Kelly has no conflict of interest," the network wrote. "Donald Trump is just trying to build up the audience for Thursday’s debate, for which we thank him."
Earlier in the day, GOP front-runner Trump had taken to his official Twitter account to lay into the anchor and question her credibility as a moderator. "Based on @MegynKelly's conflict of interest and bias, she should not be allowed to be a moderator of the next debate," Trump wrote. The billionaire mogul's latest statements come months after network officials confirmed to The Los Angeles Times that Kelly would be moderating the January event with co-hosts Bret Baier and Chris Wallace once again, following a stellar showing at the GOP's first primary debate on August 6.
It's not the first time in recent weeks that Trump has gone after Kelly. On Jan. 11, following the release of the anchor's Vanity Fair cover story, the Republican candidate posted a scathing tweet, targeting Kelly's appearance and her appeal with the opposite sex.
".@megynkelly recently said that she can’t be wooed by [me]," Trump wrote, citing Kelly's comments to Vanity Fair's Evgenia Peretz, in which she indicated that the mogul's early attempts to gain favor in the conservative media had had no effect on her as a journalist. "She is so average in every way," he added, "who the hell wants to woo her[?]"
Based on @MegynKelly's conflict of interest and bias she should not be allowed to be a moderator of the next debate.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2016
For the most part, Trump's barrage of critiques seem to stem all the way back to Kelly's initial turn as moderator at August's debate; At the time, Kelly had questioned Trump on his record with women, pressing him about distasteful comments he had previously made.
"You've called women you don't like fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals [... and] you once told a [woman] on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees," Kelly challenged, citing Trump's previous tweets about Rosie O'Donnell, Ariana Huffington, and contestants on his former reality show. "Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president [...]?"
While Trump waved off the comments during the debate, his response in the days that followed conveyed a much angrier sentiment. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, Blood coming out of her wherever," Trump told CNN's Don Lemon of Kelly's line of questioning a few days later, following up his comments with several questionable tweets in the same vein. However, while Trump's comments did draw the ire of many, his poll numbers remained largely fixed.
So far, Kelly has refused to entertain Trump's latest wave of attacks, remaining largely silent on social media except to tweet about her show, The Kelly File, and to announce her participation in the upcoming debate. "Mark your calendars," Kelly tweeted on Friday. "The next & final #GOPDebate before the Iowa caucuses is Thursday, Jan. 28."
For now, while Trump may be riding high in the polls, it seems the Fox News anchor has come out on top once again.
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