(Fox News)Fox News host Megyn Kelly has a message for the men accusing Sen. Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) of sexism: "Butt out."
In an Wednesday night interview with Paul, Kelly slammed Paul's male critics who have suggested he is condescending toward female interviewers. Kelly called out NBC host Chuck Todd in particular for saying Paul should be more cautious about how he handles those interviews.
"Chuck Todd came out and said you have to be 'careful' because you attacked two prominent female interviewers," Kelly said. "The Guardian said you were 'condescending' toward female reporters. And I, as a female reporter, will say to Chuck Todd and The Guardian: We don't need your help."
Paul drew headlines earlier in the day when he lectured "Today" host Savannah Guthrie about how to conduct a proper interview after she confronted Paul with questions he said were biased. Some connected the exchange to Paul's February interview in which he shushed CNBC anchor Kelly Evans. But Kelly said Guthrie and Evans were perfectly capable of defending themselves and did not need any "sexist" assistance from others.
"Savannah Guthrie doesn't need your help," Kelly said. "Kelly Evans doesn't need your help. And you are entitled to push back on the interviewer just as much as you would if it were a man. So these male commentators can butt out. We can give as good as we can get.
"It's ironic that the people trying to step in and protect these female interviewers are themselves being sexist while they're suggesting that you were sexist," Kelly continued, "because you didn't kowtow, and you weren't polite enough, to your female interviewers."
Kelly did tell Paul, however, that his interviews with Evans and Guthrie raised a "fair" question about whether he was ready for the rigors of the presidential campaign trail. Paul conceded that he needed to improve how he handled the media in general.
"I do lose my cool, and I do lose my temper sometimes, and I should be better at that," Paul said, attributing some of the contentious interviews to the long-distance nature of the discussions. "Can I do better? Yes. Am I sometimes thin-skinned? Yes. But ... when I think of doing an interview with you, I don't think of whether you're a man or woman. I think of an intelligent person who's going to ask me questions."
Business Insider reached out to Todd for comment on Kelly's criticism. He declined to weigh in.
"Thanks for asking, but I cover politicians and policymakers not the media," Todd wrote in an email.
Watch Kelly's full interview with Paul below. (Her pointed comments are at the end.)
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