"It starts to sound a little bit like you're a guy with a schoolyard crush," Matt Lauer told Donald Trump of his criticism of Megyn Kelly

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Credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty;Craig Barritt/Getty

Could Donald Trump‘s continual attacks on Fox News host Megyn Kelly be the adult equivalent of pulling her pigtails?

That’s what the Today show’s Matt Lauer suggested in a new interview with the GOP front-runner Wednesday.

“It starts to sound a little bit like you’re a guy with a schoolyard crush when guys say the meanest things about the girls they like the most,” Lauer told Trump.

“Trust me, Matt, there is no crush, that I can tell you,” Trump replied. “As far as I was concerned, during the debate, she asked me questions that were totally inappropriate. A lot of people said that. Many people agreed with me.”

Trump is referring to Kelly’s Aug. 6 debate question about the insults he’s lobbed at women, including calling them “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.” Trump responded by making multiple personal attacks on Kelly in the days that followed.

He resumed his criticism of Kelly on Monday when she returned to host her Fox News show The Kelly File. He Tweeted, “I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!” and then re-Tweeted other users who criticized Kelly, including one who called her a “bimbo.”

Kelly responded to Trump’s attacks on her Aug. 10 show, saying, “I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism, so I’ll continue doing my job without fear or favor. This is a tough business and it’s time now to move forward.”

Lauer pressed Trump in Wednesday’s interview, asking, “Why have you let Megyn Kelly get so far under your skin?”

“I haven’t,” Trump said. “You Tweet a few Tweets, or re-Tweets in this case, that’s not getting under your skin. I personally am not a fan. I don’t think she does a good job. I don’t think she’s a very good professional. I think, frankly, the show’s better without her, but that’s up to them and they can do whatever they want. I respect [Fox News chief] Roger Ailes, he can do whatever he wants. I don’t care.”

Trump’s relationship with Fox News may be strained, but he’s got a new fan on the airwaves.

Former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke praised Trump for his immigration policy proposals and declared the GOP front-runner “the best of the lot.”

“Trump is really going all out. He’s saying what no other Republicans have said, few conservatives say. And he’s also gone to the point where he says it’s not just illegal immigration, it’s legal immigration,” Duke said last week on his radio show, according to CNN.

The anti-Semitic Duke stopped short of endorsing Trump, however, saying he doesn’t trust the billionaire businessman due to his “deep Jewish connections” and support of Israel.