Fox News and Donald Trump played nice this week after network chairman Roger Ailes phoned the GOP frontrunner with a promise of fair coverage, but the ceasefire seems to be fading fast.
Fox News fired back at Trump on Friday for suggesting Megyn Kelly was taking a vacation in response to Trump’s controversial comments that many thought was him hinting Kelly was menstruating at the GOP debate.
Trump offered a conspiracy theory on Friday that his criticism of Kelly drove her to take time off.
“The conspiracy theories about Megyn Kelly’s vacation rank up there with UFO’s, the moon landing and Elvis being alive,” a Fox spokeswoman said. “Megyn is on a pre-planned, annual summer vacation with her family, which is much deserved. To imply otherwise, as Donald Trump and his campaign operatives have, is not only wildly irresponsible, but downright bizarre.”
“Perhaps Mr. Trump thinks it’s advantageous to his poll numbers to keep talking about Megyn, but that doesn’t change the fact that Roger Ailes has fully supported her and her tough journalistic questioning since day one and is thrilled with the added exposure from the debate, which resulted in even higher ratings of ‘The Kelly File’ this week. Anyone who knows Roger is aware of how historically and consistently loyal he is to all of his talent and how he protects them at all costs.”
So much for kissing and making up.
Upon landing in Iowa on Saturday, Trump subtly slammed Roger Ailes.
“I love Roger but you ask him, who won,” Trump asked. “I don’t think that I have made any mistakes. I am sure that I will, but so far you have to say, has it worked out so badly?”
Fox News’ competitors are covering the latest Donald-FNC spat: CNN’s Brian Stelter appeared on TV Saturday to discuss the timing of Kelly’s vacation.
“I gotta tell you it’s heated up in the last day or so… tensions are definitely back,” he said.
It’s typical for star anchors to take several weeks off during the summer, so Kelly is likely enjoying a pre-planned vacation. But the back-and-forth between Fox and Trump so soon after they publicly made up is an interesting development.
This makes Trump’s exclusive interview with “Meet The Press” on Sunday a must-watch as Todd will surely ask him about his spat with the number-one cable news network.