Just a couple weeks after Donald Trump and Fox News president Roger Ailes
reached a truce and Trump agreed to ease up on his blistering criticism of the network — specifically its host, Megyn Kelly — the real estate tycoon unleashed a series of Twitter posts on Monday to mark Kelly’s first day back at work following a 10-day vacation.
Kelly posted a graphic highlighting Trump’s immigration proposal — Mexico must pay for a border wall, all illegal immigrants are to be deported and birthright citizenship ends:
Minutes later, Trump took to his keyboard, tweeting at 9:42 p.m.:
Eight minutes later he posted again:
The vitriol went south when Trump began retweeting others' comments, including one person who referred to Kelly as "a bimbo."
Other posts suggested Kelly’s show was "a waste of an hour" and said she should go back on vacation, while yet another opined that the host returned "looking like Nancy Grace."
Fox News told the website Mediate
that Kelly’s vacation was long-planned — taken after the Aug. 6 GOP debate — and any suggestion by Trump that it was forced by the network is incorrect.
The network stridently defended Kelly 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," it reads. "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. As Governor Terry Branstad said today, 'when you’re a candidate, you’ve got to basically answer the questions. You can’t just attack the person asking the questions. That doesn’t work.'"
Trump has had Kelly in his crosshairs since the debate, when she questioned him about past derogatory comments made about women. He has slammed her for being unprofessional and a "lightweight," and in one interview seemed to suggest Kelly’s menstrual cycle played a role in her demeanor. Trump has denied making that implication.
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