Real-estate magnate Donald Trump seems set to end his feud with Fox News after ramping up criticism of the network following the first Republican presidential debate last week.
The Republican presidential candidate said he has “no problem” with Fox News during a Tuesday interview on CNN. The topic didn’t even come up during his Fox interview the same morning.
Trump attributed the détente to a phone call from Fox News chief Roger Ailes the day before.
“I was very angry with the way I was treated — perhaps justifiably, I think justifiably — but Roger Ailes, who’s an amazing guy and an amazing executive. Frankly, he called me yesterday and, as far as I’m concerned, I’m fine with it,” Trump said. “Roger’s done an amazing job at Fox. He called me and I have no problem.”
In a statement to Business Insider, Ailes said the “blunt” conversation healed the rift between his network and Trump.
“I assured him that we will continue to cover this campaign with fairness & balance. We had a blunt but cordial conversation and the air has been cleared,” said Ailes, a former Republican operative.
Trump has been raging at Fox News since last Thursday’s Republican debate, during which the moderators asked him several tough questions, including one about his corporate bankruptcies and another about derogatory comments he’s made toward women. A Fox News focus group after the debate further featured Trump supporters trashing his debate performance.
The Republican businessman and his team accused the focus group of being rigged against him.
“They attempted to create a negative narrative of Mr. Trump both during and after the debate but failed,” Michael Cohen, special counsel to Trump, told Business Insider. “Their actions are insidious and not in line with viewers or the American people as Mr. Trump won, according to three independent polls.”
Trump even personally declared that Fox should be “ashamed” of itself:
His Fox News spat reached new heights last Friday, when Trump attacked Megyn Kelly using what many people interpreted as a lewd insult. The “Kelly File” host was one of the debate moderators who had grilled him earlier in the week.
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever,” Trump recalled of Kelly.
Trump subsequently insisted he said nothing inappropriate. During his CNN interview, Trump cited his educational background to argue that he’s not the sort of guy who would comment about women’s menstrual cycles to insult them.
“It’s not about Megyn Kelly. It’s not about that,” he said of his Fox News complaints. “Look, there was a misinterpretation of what I said. Look, what I said was obvious. There was nothing wrong. Unless you’re a deviant, you don’t put those words in.”
“I went to the hardest school to get into, the best school in the world, I guess you could say: the Wharton School of Finance,” he added. “It’s like super-genius stuff.”
In Ailes’ statement, the Fox executive said he “expressed my confidence in Megyn Kelly” during his phone call with Trump.
“She is a brilliant journalist and I support her 100 per cent,” he said.
For her part, Kelly also briefly addressed the controversy on her show Monday night.
“Apparently Mr. Trump thought the question I asked was unfair and felt I was attacking him. I felt he was asked a tough but fair question. We agree to disagree,” she said. “Trump, who is the front-runner, will not apologise. And I certainly will not apologise for doing good journalism. So I’ll continue doing my job without fear or favour.”
Watch Kelly’s statement below:
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