'Let's Talk About Us': Megyn Kelly Asks Trump About His Attacks on Her
Megyn Kelly asked Donald Trump about his attacks on her following the first GOP debate last August, where Kelly asked Trump about his offensive comments toward women.
"I thought it was a fair question. Why didn’t you?" she asked.
I thought it was unfair. I didn’t think it was really a question. I thought it was more of a statement. That’s the first question that I have ever been asked during a debate. And I have never debated before. I mean, my whole life is a debate, but I have never actually debated before. And I am saying to myself, 'Man, what a question.' And then, of course, then you have Bret doing his thing. So I am saying to myself, 'I got two hours of this?' Um, I don’t really blame you because you are doing your thing. I mean, you have to do your thing. And from an entertainment standpoint, it was fantastic. You got the highest ratings in the history of cable television, 24 million people. I give you credit for it actually. But from my standpoint, I don’t have to like it.
Trump said that looking back, he feels that the tough questions might have been a positive for him as he moved forward in the campaign.
"I said, 'If I could get through this debate, with those questions, you can get through anything.'"
Kelly asked whether his anger toward her in the ensuing months was "anger" or part of a "strategy."
Trump answered that he has "great respect" for Kelly for reaching out to him for a meeting.
"To me, I would not have done that. I don't say that as a positive. I think it's a negative for me," said Trump.
Kelly then asked whether Trump has any regrets about what has happened since the first debate.
"Absolutely I have regrets. I don’t think I want to discuss what the regrets are, but absolutely. I could have done certain things differently. I could have maybe used different language in a couple of instances. But overall, I have to be very happy with the outcome," he answered.
Trump said that he wouldn't have been as successful had he acted more "presidential" and said that it's "in a way, a bad word."
"But if I would not have fought back the way I fought back, I don’t think I would have been successful."
Kelly said that now that Trump is steps away from the presidency and has such a huge following, his words and messaging carry great power to disrupt the lives of the people he targets.
"When Donald Trump targets somebody and says, 'This person is bad, that person is bad,' it creates a firestorm in those people's lives," Kelly said. "And many of these people are so-called 'civilians' who haven't put themselves out there as public figures."
Trump said that when he attacks people it's a response to something they said. He said he doesn't view himself as "powerful."
"Well, I don’t view myself as that. I mean, I view myself as a person that -- like everybody else -- is fighting for survival. That’s all I view myself as. And I really view myself now as somewhat of a messenger. You know, this is a massive thing that’s going on. These are millions and millions of people that have been disenfranchised from this country."
Kelly had Trump walk her through his tweeting process. She joked that she imagines him composing his tweets in a velvet smoking jacket and slippers.
Trump laughed, saying that it was usually "a lot less fancy" than that. He said that after 7 or 8 p.m. he writes the tweets personally and the rest of the time he dictates them, down to the punctuation. He said that he and his Twitter fans have "an unbelievable bond, we have an unbelievable relationship."
Finally, Kelly asked how Trump would feel about his candidacy if he doesn't ultimately become president, asking "will this all have been for nothing, or will you have changed America?"
Trump responded by recounting his conversation with a "great" writer who had called to express his congratulations.
"I say, 'Congratulations on what?'
He said, 'What you have done has never been done before.'
I said, 'What have I done?'
And he said, then he talked about different things…
And I said, 'Well, unless I win, I can’t do the changes. I can’t make America great again. I can’t lower taxes and, and make our military strong. And get along with other nations, frankly, that we don’t get along with right now, but do better with them, you know, so that they are not ripping us off like they are.' But I said, 'Unless I win, I can’t do that.'
He said, 'No no, you are wrong. What you have done has never been done before, and it’ll go down in history.'
And I appreciate...and I don’t want to really talk him out of it, ’cause in case it doesn’t work out, I guess I’d rather have that narrative. But, I will say this: If I don't go all the way, and if I don't win, I will consider it to be a total and complete waste of time, energy and money."
Watch the full interview, here.