The Fox News anchor and the new president-elect sparred throughout much of the election season, and Kelly, 45, details their back-and-forth and how it affected her in her recently released memoir, Settle for More.
On Wednesday’s CBS This Morning, Kelly weighed in on why she decided to include her history with Trump in the book — and what she believes could be “potentially dangerous” about his presidency.
“I thought it was important to document as a historical record what it was like to be on the receiving end of that behavior,” said Kelly, in reference to Trump’s relentless Twitter attacks, in which he called her “overrated,” “dopey” and “crazy,” among others.
“And the reason, among others, is that as a First Amendment issue — what Donald Trump did to me has real implications,” she continued. “I mean, I have a powerful microphone and a powerful platform at Fox News. And I had a company that had my back. However, not every journalist has that. And not every journalist is quite as established as I am at this point in my career.”
“And so if a President Trump were to come after a journalist the way he — the candidate Trump — came after me, I think it could be potentially dangerous,” she continued of Trump, 70, who has tangled with the media throughout his career and controversial run up to his election. “I think, hopefully, the book will provide somewhat of a roadmap for said reporters on how, potentially, to handle him.”
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Kelly went on to acknowledge it hasn’t been “a delightful year” and that these last several months have been “full of darkness in many ways.”
“It certainly increased my name recognition — in some quarters,” she said. “But I … was doing just fine before Donald Trump.”
“It was a personal struggle,” she added. “But because of the bullying I’ve endured for an entire year in the seventh grade, which I go through in the book, and a lot of parents and kids can relate to that, and other adversity I’ve had in my life, I was able to deal with it. It wasn’t enjoyable. But this is one of the core messages of the book: … adversity is an opportunity.”
When asked how she intends to navigate her relationship with him now that he’s president-elect, Kelly said she thinks she and Trump are “in a better place.”
“I actually feel good about where I am with now-president-elect Trump,” she added.
Referencing their April meeting at Trump Tower, where he hugged her hello, Kelly said the gesture felt not like an apology but rather an attempt to “move on.”
“I was glad that he was able to let it go,” she said. “I mean, that was the point of me being there — because we had always had a good relationship — [was] just to say basically, not explicitly … ‘Let’s move on from this. I don’t belong on the playing field with you. I belong over here on the sidelines.’ ”
“And to his credit, he was able to move on, even though he had held onto his anger for nine months,” she continued. “He did prove that he’s able to do that. And ever since, he and I have had a fine relationship. We’re not tight friends, but he’s treated me respectfully and he’s withstood my coverage — which has been skeptical of him at times — without complaint. And that’s fine.”
Ultimately, Kelly said she wants her book to inspire people to take control of their life.
“In essence, at its core, it’s really an uplifting message about getting to where you want to be — how to improve your life,” she said. “And I think it’s something that’s more inspirational than it is ‘gossipy,’ if you will.”