Fox News’ chairman encouraged Donald Trump to apologize on Tuesday, hours after the presidential hopeful renewed his Twitter attack on anchor Megyn Kelly as her show aired on the network.
Trump, currently leading in the polls for GOP nomination, ripped Kelly in several tweets. It was Kelly’s first show since coming back from a preplanned vacation following the first Republican debate, a Fox News spokeswoman said.
“I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!” Trump wrote, adding, “The bimbo back in town. I hope not for long.”
The back-and-forth comes just weeks after Trump was under fire for his comments about Kelly after the debate. Earlier this month he said Kelly’s questions were unfair, adding she “had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
Fox’s Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes defended Kelly Tuesday, saying Trump should issue a rarely heard apology.
“Donald Trump’s surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing. Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise,” Ailes said in the statement. “I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer. Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.”
For her part, earlier this month Kelly said her questions at the debate were fair and they would agree to disagree.
“Trump who is the front-runner will not apologize and I certainly will not apologize for doing good journalism,” Kelly said during her show on Aug. 10. “So, I’ll continue doing my job without fear or favor. And Mr. Trump, I expect, will continue with what has been a successful campaign thus far. This is a tough business and it is time now to move forward.”