Since they sat down for their sunny truce on prime-time network television more than five months ago, Megyn Kelly has been unable to get Donald Trump to come on her Fox News show. Tuesday night, she had to settle for the next best thing: Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich. And in the process she proved why Trump doesn’t have it in him to face her before Election Day.
Kelly began by attempting to get Gingrich to face the reality of his candidate’s disastrous poll numbers, but like the rest of Trump World, he wasn’t hearing it. The polls are just another example the mainstream media’s “alternate universe.”
But things really went off the rails when Kelly brought up the 2005 Access Hollywood tape and subsequent accusations of sexual assault against Trump. “If Trump is a sexual predator, then it’s a big story,” she said, setting Gingrich off on a tear of “defensiveness” that she suggested “speaks volumes.”
“As a media story, we don’t get to say that the 10 women are lying,” she said. “We have to cover that story, sir.”
Protesting that Kelly has spent too much time on the allegations against Trump and not enough on Hillary Clinton’s leaked speeches, Gingrich declared, “You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy. That’s what I get out of watching you tonight.” It wasn’t quite “such as nasty woman,” but it was close enough.
“Me?” Kelly asked, laughing at first. But when her smile fell, she told him, “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.”
When Gingrich replied by suggesting that if she was really “worried about sexual predators” she would want to keep Bill Clinton out of the White House, literally daring her to say the words “Bill Clinton, sexual predator,” Kelly said she has covered those stories, “But he’s not on the ticket. And the polls also show that the American public is less interested in the deeds of Hillary Clinton’s husband than they are in the deeds of the man who asks us to make him president, Donald Trump.”
“We’re going to have to leave it at that,” she said, cutting off the interview, “and you can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them, Mr. Speaker.”
UPDATE, Oct. 26, 11:30 a.m. ET: The next morning, about 14 hours after their initial exchange, Gingrich fired back at Kelly's closing line on Twitter.