Megyn Kelly vs. Donald Trump: Before Their Peacemaking Sit-Down, a Brief History of the Pair's Public Conflict
After months of discord between the GOP candidate and the Fox News host, Trump will appear on Fox's Megyn Kelly Presents on Tuesday
After months of public squabbling, the Fox News host sat down with Trump for an interview that’s set to air Tuesday on Fox Broadcasting. In a clip from the upcoming special, Trump almost apologized for the continual attacks against Kelly, saying, “In a certain way what you did might’ve been a favor because I felt so good about having gotten through. I thought, ‘If I can get through this debate with those questions, you can get through anything.’ ”
Here’s a quick history of Kelly and Trump’s relationship before the interview airs.
Ahead of the 2016 Presidential Race
Before even announcing his candidacy in June 2015, Trump was already a presence in Kelly’s life.
“He would send me press clippings about me that he would just sign ‘Donald Trump.’ And he called me from time to time to compliment a segment,” Kelly told Vanity Fair in January. “I didn’t know why he was doing that. And then when he announced that he was running for president, it became more clear.”
The First Republican Debate
During August’s first Republican presidential debate, Kelly ruffled Trump’s feathers by pressing him on his participation in “the war on women.”
In response to Kelly’s call-out of his often controversial commentary on women, Trump explained, “Oftentimes it’s fun, it’s kidding, we have a good time. … Honestly, Megan, if you don’t like it, I’m sorry. I’ve been very nice to you although I could probably not be based on the way you’ve treated me.”
The next day, Trump, 69, told CNN of Kelly’s questioning, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes. Blood coming out of her wherever.”
In response, Kelly said she wouldn’t “apologize for doing good journalism.”
The Conflict Moves to Social Media
After Kelly returned to television following her first tango with Trump, the now-presumptive GOP candidate took to Twitter – his favorite form of self-expression – to bash her, retweeting other users who referred to her as a “bimbo.”
Kelly and Trump reunited at the 11th Republican debate in March, keeping things mostly cordial. Yet, days later, he attacked Kelly on Twitter, writing, “Everybody should boycott the @megynkelly show. Never worth watching. Always a hit on Trump. She is sick, & the most overrated person on TV.”
He called the 45-year-old “crazy” and announced he’d be skipping a scheduled March 21 GOP debate to be hosted by Fox News that Kelly was moderating.
“Donald Trump’s vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land,” a Fox News spokesperson told PEOPLE at the time.
In a subsequent statement, Trump’s campaign called Kelly an “overrated reporter” and The Kelly File “second-rate.”
Clearing the Air
“I just wanted to stop,” Kelly told PEOPLE in the latest issue. “You’d get past an incident and then it would start again. It was really shocking.”
She explained that she decided to reach out after a brief hiatus in Trump’s attacks, telling PEOPLE, “I knew all along that if there could be a period of calm on his part, that I could go and approach him and we could get to a better place.”
And the meeting seems to have worked: “I have great respect for the fact that Megyn was willing to call me. Few people would have been able to do that,” Trump said. “She has natural showbiz ability with unlimited potential. Regarding the interview I know people will enjoy it.”
Megyn Kelly Presents airs Tuesday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox, with extended portions of the interview airing on Wednesday’s The Kelly File at 9 p.m. ET on Fox News.