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After he sat down for an interview with Megyn Kelly in which some of his answers elicited criticism from conservatives, including Kelly herself, former President Trump said at a campaign event that she was too hard on him.
“I did a Megyn Kelly one, and she y’know, just, she became nastier all of a sudden. She was pretty nasty, didn’t you think, anybody that watched it?” Trump asked the crowd in Maquoketa, Iowa on Wednesday.
— John Hasson (@SonofHas) September 20, 2023
Trump’s complaint came after he received some blowback from the right for claiming he didn’t know who gave Dr. Anthony Fauci a Presidential Commendation in his final week in office and also his answer when Kelly asked him simply “Can a man become a woman?”
In the interview, Kelly pointed out, “For years you’ve been saying that the reason you didn’t fire Anthony Fauci was because he’d been there for a long time, that you would’ve taken heat, that it would’ve created a firestorm, quoting your words.”
“But I also said I didn’t listen to him too much,” Trump answered.
“I’m getting there,” Kelly said. “But then in May, you started saying, ‘Well, he’s a civil servant, so I couldn’t, technically. The truth is though, not only did you not fire Fauci, who is loathed by many, many millions of Republicans in particular, but also some Democrats, you made him a star. You made him a star. This is the criticism of you, that you made him the face of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.”
“You think so?” Trump asked.
“That he was out at every presser, that he was running herd for the administration on Covid, and that you actually gave him a Presidential Commendation before you left office,” Kelly said. “Wouldn’t you like a do-over on that?”
“I don’t know who gave him the commendation,” Trump claimed. “I really don’t know who gave him the commendation. I wouldn’t have done it.”
“It’s a presidential commendation,” Kelly noted.
The White House website during Trump’s tenure announced on January 19, 2021, “Today, President Donald J. Trump awarded Presidential Commendations to the below individuals in recognition of their exceptional efforts on Operation Warp Speed:’
Among the names listed was Dr. Anthony Fauci.
When Kelly asked if a man could become a woman, Trump replied, “In my opinion, you have a man, you have a woman. I think part of it is birth. Can the man give birth? No, no, although they’ll come up with some answer to that also someday. I heard just the other day they have a way that now the man can give birth. No. I’ll continue my stance on that.”
Kelly later slammed Trump’s answer on gender identity as “weak sauce,” adding, “I really wish he did better on that. I liked Ron DeSantis’ answer, “I’m going to be honest, which is ‘No, no, no, no. Obviously, no. And it’s not determined based on who can give birth. It’s determined by God. And it’s pretty obvious just as soon as you come out of the womb. That’s the way it’s always been. That’s the way it continues to be. Notwithstanding this weird agenda by some activists in this crazy trans-agenda-pushing cult.”