Following Donald Trump’s revived Twitter attack on Fox News host Megyn Kelly during her return to the air last night, Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes has released the following statement, in which he calls the GOP frontrunner’s comments “crude and irresponsible” and urges him to issue a rare apology.
Read the full statement below:
“Donald Trump’s surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise. I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer. Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.”
In his Twitter rant last night, Trump said Kelly was “off her game” and retweeted messages from one follower who called her a “bimbo.” Earlier this month, when Kelly announced a 10-day vacation following the first GOP debate, Trump claimed victory and took credit for her absence. Fox vehemently denied that narrative, saying in a statement to Mediaite, “The conspiracy theories about Megyn Kelly’s vacation rank up there with UFO’s, the moon landing and Elvis being alive.”
Watch Fox News read Ailes’ statement on the air Tuesday afternoon:
UPDATE — 2:15 p.m. ET: Donald Trump responded to Ailes’ statement with something very far from an apology:
[Photo via screengrab]
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