A History of the Donald Trump-Megyn Kelly Feud

Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich provided the most recent spark.

ByABC News
October 26, 2016, 1:23 PM

— -- The storied saga of Donald Trump and Fox News host Megyn Kelly created fireworks during the Republican Party primaries and appeared to have died down in recent months, but that lull ended Tuesday night.

This time, though, it wasn’t Trump who verbally attacked Kelly but one of his best-known surrogates, effectively restarting what many people have seen as more than a yearlong feud between the pair.

Here’s a look back:

Rumble at a Republican Primary Debate

The feud between Trump and Kelly started Aug. 6, 2015, at the first Republican presidential debate, when the two had a contentious back-and-forth.

In a question directed at Trump, Kelly said, “You’ve called women you don’t like fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”

Trump fired back on Twitter after the debate.

But it didn’t end there.

Trump continued to criticize the Fox News host in the days after the debate, telling CNN, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

In an interview with ABC News’ “This Week” two days later, Trump said he meant Kelly’s nose when he said “wherever.”

Feuding in the Fall

Kelly said in an interview with Charlie Rose last October that neither she nor Fox News wanted “any sort of war” with Trump.

“He was obviously upset. That’s fine. He’s running for president, it’s not a fun business, there’s going to be ups and downs, and I know he considered that a down,” she said. “So we just wanted to forge forward and try to put it behind us, not pour any more fuel on that fire.”

While Kelly insisted she wouldn’t engage in a feud with Trump, she was quick to respond on social media after a series of attacks from the then-GOP front-runner.

At the beginning of February, Kelly discussed the matter with ABC News.

“It was bizarre because I became the story. He was so very focused on me that I became the story, and you know, you never want to be the story when you’re a newsperson,” she said. “You want to be covering the story, so it was like an ‘Alice Through the Looking Glass’ experience.”

Moving Forward in May

Kelly had a one-on-one interview with Trump that aired in early May, but before its release, she said it took her some time to find the right time to reach out to him.

“In April there was a lull in the tweet storm, and I seized on the opportunity,” Kelly told ABC News. “I had been looking for months for just the right window to go in there. But every time I thought I was there, he’d start up again, whether it was boycotting the second Fox News debate or calling me crazy and sick after the third debate.”

During the interview, Trump said he thought Kelly’s question about his comments about women “was unfair” but appeared to understand her decision to ask it.

“I don’t really blame you, because you’re doing your thing. But from my standpoint, I don’t have to like it,” he said.

Top Trump Surrogate Lashes Out

Tensions between Team Trump and Camp Kelly appeared to have eased in recent months, with no significant flare-ups. Until Tuesday night.

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich unleashed a tirade on the Fox News host during an interview on her show after she mentioned Trump’s sexual abuse accusers, with Gingrich saying she was “fascinated with sex.”

“I mean, do you want to go back through the tapes on your show recently?” he asked. “You are fascinated with sex, and you don’t care about public policy.”

Kelly questioned whether Trump was a “sexual predator” after mentioning a hot-mic “Access Hollywood” tape from 2005 in which he boasted of being able to grope women without their consent because of his stardom. He has defended his comments as nothing more than “locker room banter.”

“You cannot defend that statement,” Gingrich said of Kelly’s “sexual predator” comment. “I’m sick and tired of people like you using language that’s inflammatory, that’s not true.”

Kelly then mentioned Trump’s accusers, whose accusations he has vehemently denied, and said, “We have to cover that story, sir.”

“You know what, Mr. Speaker? I’m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office,” she said.

For his part, Trump lauded Gingrich this morning on the exchange during the formal opening of his company’s newest hotel, in Washington, D.C.

“By the way, congratulations, Newt, on last night,” Trump said, pointing to Gingrich, who was in the crowd for Trump’s news conference. “That was an amazing interview. That was an amazing interview. We don’t play games, Newt, right? We don’t play games.”

Related Topics