“Blood coming out her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” Words spoken by Donald Trump after he first sparred with Fox News host Megyn Kelly during a GOP primary debate in August 2015. The pair’s beef has evolved quite a bit since then, culminating in Trump agreeing to sit down with Kelly in a feature interview that aired on the night of May 17. While rumors are abound that Kelly is planning to leave Fox News after reports she was unhappy with the lack of support she received from her colleagues following the altercation with the presumptive GOP presidential nominee.
The “beef” began when Kelly attempted to ask Trump a question about his prior comments about women.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. After the August Altercation, Trump Skipped the Next Fox News Debate to Hold a Veterans Rally Instead
Trump skipped the next Fox News debate after his first encounters with Megyn Kelly. Instead, Trump held a rally for veterans in Iowa. A few days later, he would lose the caucus in the Hawkeye State. Though in March 2016, the GOP presumptive nominee returned to a Fox News stage and returned to face Kelly. In the opening gambit, Trump told Kelly, “You’re looking well.”
Famously, in the days after the first Fox debate, Trump told CNN, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” He later told ABC’s This Week, that he was going to say “nose” instead of “wherever.”
2. Kelly Maintained in an Interview With Charlie Rose That She Nor Fox News Wanted a War With Trump
During an October 2015, Kelly told Charlie Rose in an interview that she nor Fox News wanted “any sort of war” with Donald Trump. She said, “He was obviously upset. That’s fine; he’s running for president, it’s not a fun business, there’s gonna be ups and downs and I know he considered that a down. So we just wanted to forge forward and try to put it behind us, not pour any more fuel on that fire.”
In a separate February 2016 interview with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, Kelly said, “You never want to be the story when you’re a news person. You want to be covering the story so it was like an Alice-through-the-looking-glass experience.”
3. Trump’s Attacks on Kelly Via Twitter Were Relentless Through the End of 2015 Calling Her, ‘Sick’, ‘Crazy’ & ‘Overrated’
In the days and months after the debate, Trump continued to attack Kelly on Twitter, at one point accusing her of not giving accurate polls reflecting his primary dominance. He also retweeted attack messages from his followers that used the words, “Crazy,” “Sick” and “Overrated.”
While Kelly didn’t directly respond to Trump’s attacks on Twitter, she did criticize her employers for not defending her more. She took particular aim at Fox News legend Bill O’Reilly for not coming to her aid. Kelly told More Magazine in March 2016, “I do wish that O’Reilly had defended me more in his interview with Trump. I would have defended him more.”
Trump responded on Twitter to her complaints saying, “Crazy @megynkelly is now complaining that @oreillyfactor did not defend her against me – yet her bad show is a total hit piece on me.Tough!”
While Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton called Kelly a “superb journalist” in an appearance on The View in March 2016. Despite this, Clinton has so far refused to sit down with Kelly for an interview.
4. In His Interview, Trump Told Kelly That He’s Merely a ‘Counter-Puncher’
Trump told Kelly in her Fox primetime special on May 17 that he believes he is a “counter-puncher.” He said, “I’m a counter-puncher. I respond pretty strongly, but in just about all cases I’ve been responding to what they did to me.”
5. Since the Feud Began, Her Ratings Have Skyrocketed But Rumors Remain That She Plans to Leave the Network
Rumors remain ride that Kelly will leave Fox News in 2017 when her contract expires, reports the New York Times.
She told Variety in April 2016, “Fox News has been in a tough position. They care about me and they are not afraid of a fight, but we’re in unchartered territory.”
In her More magazine interview, Kelly said when asked about the Trump feud, “People think I’m fearless. But I’m human.” When asked by Variety if she would leave the cable news network, Kelly replied:
I don’t know what’s going to happen. I’ve had a great 12 years here, and I really like working for Roger Ailes. I really like my show, and I love my team. But you know, there’s a lot of brain damage that comes from the job. There was probably less brain damage when I worked in the afternoon.
I was less well known. I had far less conflict in my life. I also have three kids who are soon going to be school from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. I come to work at 3:30. I like to see my children. Having said that, my boss has been good about working with me to make me happy–he knows I’m a hard worker.
I’ve had few problems here where I couldn’t talk to him and say, “Can we work something out?,” and come away happy.