Fox News goes to war with Donald Trump after his 'disturbing' Megyn Kelly tweetstorm

The ceasefire struck between presidential candidate Donald Trump and Fox News appears to be off.

Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes released a statement on Tuesday that blasted Trump for his “surprise and unprovoked attack” against host Megyn Kelly, which Ailes labelled “unacceptable” and “disturbing.”

“Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should,” Ailes declared.

Here’s Ailes’ full statement: 

“Donald Trump’s surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise. I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer. Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.”

Trump sent out a flood of tweets Monday night slamming Kelly for her performance hosting “The Kelly File” that day. Trump also shared tweets calling Kelly a “bimbo” and comparing her looks to those of an older female TV host, Nancy Grace.

“I liked The Kelly File much better without” Kelly, Trump wrote. “Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!”

In a series of barbs highlighted by Mediaite and CNN on Tuesday, a number of the network’s personalities tore into Trump for his latest salvo against Kelly. Their attacks, CNN’s Brian Stelter wrote, carried “some of the hallmarks of a coordinated effort.” 

“Fox & Friends” host Brian Kilmeade:

Host Bill Hemmer:

Anchor Brett Baier:

 Fox personality Geraldo Rivera:

Host Dana Perino:

Senior meteorologist Janice Dean:

Contributor Kirsten Powers:

Contributor Michelle Fields:

The Trump criticism of Kelly is especially notable because many observers — spurred by Trump — speculated that the entire reason she was on vacation was because of him. 

His feud with Kelly began when she moderated the first prime-time Republican presidential debate on Aug. 6. Kelly asked Trump a series of questions Trump described as unfair, including one about derogatory comments he has made toward women.

The developer lashed out at Kelly after the debate. On Twitter, he promoted another tweet calling the host a “bimbo.” And in subsequent interviews blasting her, he made a particularly controversial comment that was widely interpreted as a sexist reference to menstruation.

“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever,” Trump said of Kelly during the debate. (Trump later insisted he meant “nose” or “ears.” “Only a deviant would think anything else,” he added.)

Trump then continued to rage against Kelly, who even reportedly received death threats from his supporters. Eventually, Ailes and Trump had a “blunt” conversation on Aug. 10 that they said resolved their differences.

Trump’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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