Fox News host Megyn Kelly has landed a ratings-bonanza interview next month with the man with whom she's been in a very public, mostly one-sided feud: Donald Trump.
Kelly's brutal questions of Trump in the first Fox News primary debate in August set off a Cold War between the two, Trump relentlessly attacking her and carrying out a personal boycott of the next Fox News debate, with Kelly working in subtle counter-punches here and there. After the two met privately a few weeks ago to "clear the air," rumors have circulated of a much-anticipated showdown between the two.
Kelly announced this week that the two will finally hold a sit-down interview on May 17 from 8 to 9 p.m.,their first one-on-one in almost a year.
"Mr. Trump and I sat down together for a meeting earlier this month at my request," said Kelly. "He was gracious with his time and I asked him to consider an interview. I am happy to announce he has agreed, and I look forward to a fascinating exchange — our first sit-down interview together in nearly a year."
In anticipation of the showdown, here are the five best questions Kelly asked Trump over the last year.
1) "You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs' and 'disgusting animals'..."
If that looks more like an accusation to you than a question, Trump would agree with you. Despite his whining, Kelly stood by the question about Trump's personal "war on women" because, as she explained, in a face-off with Hillary Clinton, that question was undoubtedly coming Trump's way. This is the question from the Aug. 6, 2016 debate that really started the Kelly-Trump war. Here's an excerpt of the exchange:
KELLY: Mr. Trump, one of the things people love about you is you speak your mind and you don't use a politician's filter. However, that is not without its downsides, in particular, when it comes to women. You've called women you don't like 'fat pigs,' 'dogs,' 'slobs' and 'disgusting animals.' ... Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's looks. You once told a contestant on 'Celebrity Apprentice' it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?
TRUMP: 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. But I wouldn't do that to you.
2) "When did you actually become a Republican?"
This question also came from the August Fox News debate and effectively summed up a lot of the skepticism about Trump's recent "conversion" to conservatism.
KELLY: Mr. Trump, in 1999, you said you were, quote, 'very pro-choice.' Even supporting partial-birth abortion. You favored an assault weapons ban as well. In 2004, you said in most cases you identified as a Democrat. Even in this campaign, your critics say you often sound more like a Democrat than a Republican, calling several of your opponents on the stage things like 'clowns' and 'puppets.' When did you actually become a Republican?
Trump wasn't thrilled with that one either. After the debate, Trump began to take frequent shots at Kelly whenever he could in both interviews and on social media. A few examples of his attacks on Kelly:
- "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever ..."
- "I'm not a fan of Megyn Kelly. I think she's a third-rate reporter."
- "I don't like her. She doesn't treat me fairly."
- "I have zero respect for Megyn Kelly. I don't think she's very good at what she does. I think she's highly overrated."
After Trump mocked the appearance of Heidi Cruz, the wife of Ted Cruz, Kelly tweeted out a poignant one-word question:
4) "But did you tell them, specifically, that you are flexible when it comes to your deportation plan?"
In the far more muted March 3, 2016 Fox News Debate, Kelly went after Trump on his immigration stance, which came under fire after reports of his off-the-record interview with the New York Times came to light. Kelly repeatedly pressed him on how "flexible" he was with his immigration plans, particularly deportation of illegals, and refusing to release the tapes. Here's an excerpt from the back and forth:
KELLY: Back in January, you gave an off-the-record interview to the New York Times. It was apparently audiotaped. Now, a recent report in Buzzfeed citing sources at the Times reports that in that interview you expressed flexibility when it comes to your immigration policy, specifically with respect to your promise to deport the 11 million people who are now living here illegally. You have suggested that you may have expressed some flexibility when it comes to the size of the wall that you want to build. But did you tell them, specifically, that you are flexible when it comes to your deportation plan?
TRUMP: ... You have to be able to have some flexibility, some negotiation. Now, sometimes you ask for more than you want and you negotiate down to the point. I may have discussed something like that with the New York Times, but I would never release off-the-record conversations. I don't think it's fair, frankly, to do that to anybody.
KELLY: How flexible are you on this issue?
TRUMP: Not very flexible. No, not very flexible. I give the example -- I'm going to build a wall. ... Is it going to be 45 feet or 40 feet? That could very well be. ... But there's always give and take. There's always negotiation. And the best negotiator that knows what he's doing will make a great deal. But we need give and take in government. If you don't have give and take, you're never going to agree on anything.
KELLY: Mr. Trump, we will let respond, but will you release the tapes? Will you authorize of The Times to release the tapes?...
TRUMP: No. I never do that. I would not do that....
5) "...on your immigration policies, you're really just playing to people's fantasies..."
Following that exchange, Kelly pressed further and asked Trump if he was simply "playing to people's fantasies" on immigration issues, including the skilled worker visas.
KELLY: Mr. Trump, your campaign website to this day argues that more visas for highly skilled workers would, quote, "decimate American workers". However, at the CNBC debate, you spoke enthusiastically in favor of these visas. So, which is it?
TRUMP: I'm changing. I'm changing. We need highly skilled people in this country, and if we can't do it, we'll get them in. But, and we do need in Silicon Valley, we absolutely have to have. So, we do need highly skilled, and one of the biggest problems we have is people go to the best colleges. They'll go to Harvard, they'll go to Stanford, they'll go to Wharton, as soon as they're finished they'll get shoved out. They want to stay in this country. They want to stay here desperately, they're not able to stay here. For that purpose, we absolutely have to be able to keep the brain power in this country.
KELLY: So you abandoning the position on your website...
TRUMP: ... I'm changing it, and I'm softening the position because we have to have talented people in this country.
KELLY: And you're not releasing the discussion with the New York Times behind closed doors...
TRUMP: ... That is correct.
KELLY: Which will have some asking whether, on your immigration policies, you're really just playing to people's fantasies, which is a tactic...
TRUMP: ... No, I'm not playing.
KELLY: ... you praised in your book, The Art of the Deal.