Did Donald Trump actually try to poison Fox’s Megyn Kelly? She reports, you decide…But he definitely tried to bribe reporters with gifts to buy positive press coverage.
Megyn Kelly reveals lots of details from behind the scenes of her 2016 election coverage in “Settle for More,” her new book. Although you can’t buy it until Tuesday, Jennifer Senior from The New York Times got an advance copy and seems gravely concerned about what she read.
‘She was the hen in the Fox house, taking it upon herself to ask at nearly every turn: Shouldn’t we be concerned that the Republican nominee for president is profoundly disrespectful of women in his public discourse? And accused of being a sexual predator at that?’
In the beginning, Donald Trump tried to get on Megyn Kelly’s good side
‘Months before announcing his candidacy, he had tried hard to curry Ms. Kelly’s favor.’
These included flattering notes and invitations of free stays at his luxury hotels.
‘He sent her notes, including a laudatory comment scrawled across her picture in The New York Times Magazine (When Vanity Fair reported this, Mr. Trump denied it; Ms. Kelly includes proof, a picture.) Ms. Kelly and her husband declined an invitation to Mar-a-Lago, Mr. Trump’s fabled estate in Palm Beach, Fla. Then Mr. Trump tried, repeatedly and unsuccessfully, to persuade her to let him pick up the tab for the weekend she spent with two girlfriends at the Trump SoHo hotel.’
Megyn Kelly adds that other news reporters also received similar offers.
‘This is actually one of the untold stories of the 2016 campaign. I was not the only journalist to whom Trump offered gifts clearly meant to shape coverage. Many reporters have told me that Trump worked hard to offer them something fabulous — from hotel rooms to rides on his 757.’
The Fox News reporter declined these gifts, but suggests that certain other reporters proved more receptive. Although she isn’t naming names, this would explain a lot about Sean Hannity’s fawning coverage of the Orange Revolution.
When Megyn Kelly rebuffed Mein Trumpf’s friendly overtures, he turned on her like a p*ssy-grabber scorned. She writes that after an unflattering segment on her show, “The Kelly File,” he warned her:
‘I almost unleashed my beautiful Twitter account against you […] and I still may.’
And then things started getting nasty.
‘Every time Trump acted up, it was like he flipped a switch, instantly causing a flood of intense nastiness.’
Donald Trump’s supporters would flood her voice mail with obscene vitriol and death threats and once a “suspicious man” stalked her in the lobby of her apartment building. It even got to the point where Megyn Kelly and her husband had to hire an armed body guard to protect them while taking their three children to Disney World.
Oh, and then there’s that that message Donald Trump’s lawyer, Michael Cohen tweeted and later deleted.
To make matters worse, Donald Trump’s fellow sexual predator and Megyn Kelly’s boss Roger Ailes pressured her to play nice with him instead of defending her against the Orange One’s assaults.
‘Every time he started in, I’d get a call from Roger (who was getting calls from Trump). Was I being fair to Trump? Was I being too hard on him? He felt the bar for skeptical Trump coverage should be higher.’
And that’s one of the problems with the GOP and right-wing organizations like Fox “News”: Women get abused and they’re expected to put up with it.
Did Donald Trump try to have Megyn Kelly poisoned before the first debate?
So many of the stories Megyn Kelly tells about her career at Fox “News” are highly disturbing. But this one truly stands out from the pack. On the morning of of that fateful presidential debate in August, she wrote, she felt just fine. Then, what The New York Times describes as an “overzealous, suspiciously enthusiastic driver” came to pick her up. He bizarrely kept insisting that he get her some coffee until she finally gave in and took the cup he offered.
‘Once it was in her hand, she drank it. And within 15 minutes, she was violently ill, vomiting so uncontrollably that it was unclear if she’d be able to help moderate that evening. It was so bad that she kept a trash pail beneath her desk throughout the debate, just in case.’
Of course, Megyn Kelly doesn’t actually say Donald Trump tried to have her poisoned. That would be rude. As The New York Times reminds us: “She reports, you decide.”
Featured image: Fox via Getty Images.