2015 was a difficult time for former Fox News anchor, Megyn Kelly. The political correspondent received endless backlash from then-presidential candidate Donald Trump and his followers after she questioned his behavior towards women during the Republican primary debate. Now, opening up in Frontline’s upcoming documentary, America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump, the journalist is shedding light on her side of the story.
“I wasn’t trying to be unkind to Trump in that moment,” she said, referencing the time she asked the President about his choice of language when describing women he didn’t get along with, which included “fat pigs” and “disgusting animals.” “I was just doing my job as a reporter. But the way Trump sees media, the way he sees life, is all, ‘They like me, or they don’t like me.'”
The then 49-year-old didn’t understand the magnitude of that question at the time. It wasn’t until specific media outlets — including Breitbart News — released countless articles attacking her that she realized she had become a target of Trump’s supporters.
“That’s when we go ‘Okay we run 20 stories on Megyn Kelly,'” said Steve Bannon, former executive chairman of the media outlet. “That’s when all war broke out. That’s when you had to choose sides.”
But it wasn’t just in the media. Kelly also received hate mail, backlash on social media, and death threats. “It was scary at times,” Kelly recalled. “And Breitbart kept lighting the fire over and over and I had — and have — three young kids and the security threats were escalating and we were doing everything in our power to convey to them that they needed to stop. It was one debate question, just one debate question and he handled it fine! So, get off of it, but they couldn’t care less.”
By 2016, Kelly had reached out to Trump in an effort to make peace. She was sick of feeling on the defense and wanted to move past everything she’d been through. Today, the two appear to be civil, with Trump admitting, “I have great respect for the fact that Megyn was willing to call me. Few people would have been able to do that.”