Fox News host Megyn Kelly told her network that she received death threats from Donald Trump supporters, New York magazine reported Tuesday.
The magazine’s Gabriel Sherman did not elaborate on the nature of the threats, which he attributed to “one high-level source.”
Trump raged at Kelly after she moderated the first Republican presidential debate last Wednesday. During the event, Kelly confronted him with derogatory comments he’s made about women, including calling individual women “fat pigs” and “dogs.”
“Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president?” Kelly asked.
The real-estate magnate bristled and told Kelly he didn’t have the time to be politically correct.
“I think the big problem this country has being politically correct. I’ve been challenged by so many people and I don’t frankly have time for total political correctness,” he said. “What I say is what I say. And honestly, Megyn, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you have treated me.”
After the debate, Trump unloaded on both Kelly and Fox News.
Trump also retweeted numerous supporters taking shots at Kelly, including one who referred to her as a “bimbo.”
Trump’s feud with Kelly and Fox reached new heights last Friday when, amid a series of interviews, he made a comment that numerous critics have interpreted as a lewd reference to menstruation.
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever,” Trump recalled of Kelly’s debate performance.
The Republican businessman insists he said nothing inappropriate, but that did little to silence his critics. The head of the influential conservative website RedState dropped Trump from the publication’s event over the weekend, and much of the GOP field criticised his remarks.
But the backlash went both ways. According to Sherman, Fox’s management was “paralyzed by the volume of pro-Trump emails” from Fox viewers. “According to one high-level source, Kelly has told Fox producers that she’s been getting death threats from Trump supporters,” he wrote.
Ailes reportedly reached out to Trump on Monday to end the hostilities. The Fox executive
released a statement later that evening explaining that Trump and the network had cleared the air. He also praised Kelly’s skills as a journalist and said he supported her.
“Donald Trump and I spoke today. We discussed our concerns, and I again expressed my confidence in Megyn Kelly,” Ailes said. “She is a brilliant journalist and I support her 100 per cent. 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.”
Trump appears to agree that the feud is over, and he has booked at least two Fox interviews on Tuesday to discuss his campaign.
“Roger’s done an amazing job at Fox,” Trump said in a Tuesday interview on CNN. “He called me and I have no problem.”
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.”