Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly got into an angry exchange with Newt Gingrich on Tuesday in which the former House of Representatives speaker accused the Kelly File host of being "fascinated with sex" due to her defense of the media's coverage of Donald Trump's Access Hollywood tapes and subsequent sexual assault allegations.
At his hotel opening in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, Trump congratulated Gingrich on the exchange with Kelly, saying, "That was an amazing interview. We don’t play games, Newt."
The argument began when Kelly brought up the tapes, in which the Republican presidential candidate bragged about sexually assaulting women and kissing them against their will.
Gingrich questioned why the three major news networks had devoted more time to covering Trump's controversies than to "Hillary Clinton's secret speeches."
"Do you not think this is a scale of bias worthy of Pravda or Izvestia?" Gingrich said.
Kelly attempted to respond: "If Trump is a sexual predator, then that..."
An angry Gingrich interrupted: "He's not a sexual predator! You can't say that! You cannot defend that statement," as Kelly insisted she was "not taking a position" on the issue.
“I’m sick and tired of people like you using language that’s inflammatory that’s not true! I think that is exactly the bias that people are upset by," the former House speaker shouted.
“I think that your defensiveness on this may speak volumes, sir," Kelly retorted, before launching into a defense of the news value of reporting the allegations of misconduct and sexual assault against Trump.
However, this was not enough for Gingrich: “You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy," he said. "And that’s what I get out of watching you tonight.”
Appearing to be surprised at the comment, Kelly responded by saying: "Me? Really?", before adding, "You know what, Mr. Speaker? I'm not fascinated by sex. I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we're getting in the Oval Office, and I think the American voters would like to know..."
Gingrich interrupted: "And therefore we're going to send Bill Clinton back to the East Wing, because after all you are worried about sexual predators."
"It's not about me," Kelly responded. "It's about the men and women of America. And the poll numbers show us that the women of America in particular are very concerned about these allegations, and in large part believe that they are a real issue. And... don't dismiss the women, summarily."
Gingrich then attempted to push Kelly into commenting on whether the "Clinton ticket has a relationship to a sexual predator" — referring to allegations against the Democratic candidate's husband — and then tried to "dare" Kelly into using the words "Bill Clinton" and "sexual predator" side by side.
"We on The Kelly File have covered that story as well, sir," Kelly said.
Watch the exchange here:
Following the broadcast, Trump's social media director Dan Scavino Jr. tweeted that Kelly had made a "total fool out of herself" and urged his followers to "watch what happens" following November's election.
Kelly and Trump were at the center of a bitter feud last year following his apparent insinuation that the Fox News host's line of questioning against him during the Republican primary presidential debate was because she was menstruating.
"She had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever,” Trump said.
During his presidential campaign, Trump has continued to target Kelly and has referred to her as "crazy Megyn."
Francis Whittaker is a homepage editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Francis Whittaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.