Whether or not Fox News personality Megyn Kelly would stay with the network that launched her career seems settled, but that hasn’t stopped her from spilling its secrets in her new book, Settle for More. With every interview Kelly does to promote the book, which hits shelves today, more and more details from her coverage of the 2016 presidential election are leaking out into the world. Of particular interest is a report from USA Today suggesting President-elect Donald Trump threatened her with his Twitter account (and its millions of followers) after she reported on The Daily Beast’s coverage of Ivana Trump’s accusations that Trump sexually assaulted her during their marriage.
The story in question concerns comments made by Trump’s first wife, Ivana, in a deposition from their divorce proceedings in 1991. According to The Daily Beast’s Tim Mak and Brandy Zadrozny, Ivana described a volatile 1989 encounter between her and Trump as “rape,” and said she felt “violated” by the experience. The story exploded when it was published in July 2015, and Kelly covered it on The Kelly File. Trump wasn’t happy:
Kelly said that after the segment aired, an angry Trump called and told her that “I almost unleashed my beautiful Twitter account on you, and I still may.”
Seeing as how Kelly’s segment ran just ahead of the first GOP debate in August of that year, Trump apparently “suspected she’d ask about his first wife’s claim that he’d raped her” — hence the phone call. She didn’t, though Kelly did ask the presidential candidate about his past sexist remarks, for which Trump threatened her during the broadcast. As is all too well known by now, Trump followed through by harassing her on Twitter and dragging her through the mud on other news networks and television programs.
Aside from supposed threats, Kelly has also claimed Trump tried to bribe her and other journalists covering the race with “gifts clearly meant to shape coverage.” And she provided further details about ousted Fox News chairman Roger Ailes’ sexual advances toward her, which he vehemently denies. In an interview with Good Morning America, Kelly said Ailes “tried to kiss me three times… and when I rejected that, he asked me when my contract was up.”