Real-estate mogul Donald Trump claimed Friday morning that his insult at comedian Rosie O’Donnell was the highlight of the Republican presidential debate the night before.
“When I said the Rosie O’Donnell thing, the room broke up. In fact, it was the biggest you probably saw,” he recalled on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Friday.
He added: “It was the biggest event in terms of sound and in terms of combustion in the room. It was the biggest event of the evening.”
Trump was reflecting on a charged question from Fox News host Megyn Kelly, who confronted him with some of his demeaning remarks towards women, including referring to some as “slobs,” “disgusting animals,” and “fat pigs.”
Trump deflected by declaring most of his insults were directed at O’Donnell, with whom he has had several prominent Twitter spats.
Vox documented where each of the quotes came from, while noting he has also used similarly charged rhetoric against his male critics. While some of the insults were indeed directed at O’Donnell, others targeted a female lawyer and New York Times columnist Gail Collins.
But on “Morning Joe,” Trump denied having said “many” of the quotes Kelly attributed to him.
“The question on the women — I didn’t say many of those things. They said something and they were giving out some words and I don’t remember that on ‘The Apprentice.’ And I don’t know where they got some of these words, to be honest with you. In fact, I’m going to have somebody call up and find out where these words came from. Because I don’t recognise those words. Not that I’m an angel, by the way. But I don’t recognise those words,” he said.
Trump nevertheless proudly stated that his O’Donnell jab had distracted Kelly and “really threw her off.”
“It was very interesting because it totally threw her off. She thought this was going to be a cakewalk. And that really was an interesting moment, if you want to know the truth,” he said. “But I don’t recognise the words that she was giving me: that I said this, I said that, and some of those things I don’t think happened. But we’re going to have it checked out. “
For her part, O’Donnell appeared to respond to Trump on Twitter:
try explaining that 2 ur kids
— Rosie (@Rosie) August 7, 2015
Watch the real-estate magnate’s full “Morning Joe” interview below: