In a new PBS Frontline documentary tracing American political upheaval between President Barack Obama’s presidency and President Donald Trump‘s, former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly says Trump, 73, “does not have an adult relationship with the truth.”
President Trump, who was impeached on Wednesday for his involvement in the Ukraine Scandal, frequently made inaccurate claims throughout his 2016 campaign and has lied throughout his presidency.
This week, the president made a number of factual errors in a furious open letter to House speaker Nancy Pelosi calling his impeachment a “witch hunt.”
The upcoming PBS documentary, America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump, airs in two parts on January 13 and 14 and takes a look at “America’s increasingly bitter, divided and toxic politics.”
PBS uploaded a 42-minute condensed version of its interview with Kelly on YouTube last week.
In the interview, Kelly, 49, opened up about everything from the first time she heard President Obama speak to her fallout with President Trump and his base during the 2016 campaign. She also spoke candidly on Trump’s impeachment, saying that she believes the Senate trial is “rigged.”
Kelly said the the founding fathers left the definition of what qualifies as grounds for impeachment ambiguous.
“Much like pornography, that’s in the eye of the beholder. As the Supreme Court said, ‘I know it when I see it,'” Kelly said. “Well, so what does that mean? That means it boils down to politics, and people are going to see it through their own partisan lenses.”
The impeachment vote on the House floor Wednesday reflected just that, following party lines. It’s expected that the impeachment trial in the Senate, where the Republicans hold a majority of the seats, will follow those same party lines and President Trump will be acquitted.
“The trial’s kind of rigged, right?” Kelly said. “The jury’s kind of set in the Senate because the Republicans control it. I don’t see enough Republicans in that body turning on a man who’s about to face re-election anyway and is going to be in the voters’ hands anyway, doing something that radical as finding him guilty if articles of impeachment come over from the House.”
The former Fox News host said she doesn’t believe President Trump is a “truly bad man” despite saying her life was “blown up” after questioning his history with women at a 2015 debate, which led to widespread backlash from right-wing media outlets like Breitbart.
The question angered then-candidate Trump and led to an infamous moment when the future president told CNN’s Don Lemon that Kelly “had blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.” It was the pinnacle point in lighting off an unexpected feud between Kelly and the conservative presidential candidate, which led to frequent attacks from right-wing media death threats.
“My life was blown up for nine months,” Kelly said. “It was scary at times. And Breitbart kept lighting the fire over and over. I had — and have — three young kids, really young kids, and the security threats were escalating.”
Kelly attributed the right-wing outrage more to Breitbart’s ensuing coverage of the debate incident rather than Trump himself and went on to say she was “stunned like everyone else” when the unlikely Republican nominee won the election.
“I don’t think that Trump is a truly bad man,” Kelly said. “I think he’s a savvy politician who knows what to say and what to do to get elected.”
President Trump’s outreach for foreign influence in the 2020 election is at the center of his impeachment, which is expected to head to a Senate trial in early January.
Trump was on stage campaigning in Michigan for his re-election when the House vote went through to impeach him on two charges, abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, on Wednesday, using it as a talking point throughout his speech to supporters.
Earlier in the week, President Trump wrote a scathing letter to House speaker Nancy Pelosi in which he warned her and other Democratic leaders that his impeachment would only fuel his base heading into 2020.
“I have no doubt the American people will hold you and the Democrats fully responsible in the upcoming 2020 election,” he said.