Donald Trump believes Megyn Kelly’s questions amounted to an “attempted hatchet job.” (Photo: Getty Images)
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump was still fighting hours after the curtain fell on Thursday’s GOP debate in Cleveland.
Around 3 a.m. Friday, the real estate tycoon took aim at the Fox News moderators he claims singled him out for tough questions during the first major debate over the party’s nomination for the 2016 White House.
Trump saved the bulk of his animus for Megyn Kelly, who challenged him for having called women he dislikes “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.”
“Wow, @megynkelly really bombed tonight. People are going wild on twitter! Funny to watch,” he wrote on Twitter.
Trump said that he enjoyed the debate even though he considered the three moderators, who were widely praised for their pointed questions, “not very good or professional.”
The brash candidate, or his social media handlers, spent hours acknowledging comments from his legions of fans, some of whom called Kelly a “bimbo” and a “total failure.”
Fox News Channel debate moderators, from left, Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Brett Baier start the debate. (Photo: Aaron Josefczyk/Reuters)
“Dear @megynkelly, your attempted hatchet job on @realDonaldTrump was unbecoming & a total failure,” reads one message Trump shared.
The billionaire tycoon also unleashed his barbed tongue on Fox News analyst Frank Luntz, who led a post-debate focus group that was critical of his performance.
“.@FrankLuntz is a low class slob who came to my office looking for consulting work and I had zero interest. Now he picks anti-Trump panels!” he said.
The Donald’s resentment showed no sign of subsiding after daybreak. He called “Fox & Friends” to say that he felt comfortable taking the stage with nine other contenders until Kelly hit him with “that really tough question.”
Kelly had asked how Trump would respond to a potential charge from Democratic presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton that he is part of the “war on women.”
To make her point, the moderator invoked a time he told a female contestant on the reality show “Celebrity Apprentice” that it would “be a pretty picture to see her on her knees.”
Donald Trump speaks as Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker listens. (Photo: Andrew Harnik/AP Photo)
She also brought up times he called women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals,” to which he replied, “Only Rosie O'Donnell” — drawing howls of approval from the audience befitting a WWE bout.
“She hit me with a very, very hard question,” Trump said on “Fox & Friends.” “That was when I came up with the Rosie O’Donnell statement, which really got a tremendous applause. I mean that was the biggest applause of the evening actually, so it was sort of interesting.”
Trump also said that Fox News anchor Bret Baier’s question early on about whether anyone onstage would be unwilling to pledge “support to the eventual nominee of the Republican Party” was aimed directly at Trump — the sole holdout.
“Bret, with the hand raising and having to do with wanting me to give up my leverage because that question was absolutely — or that statement — it was just aimed at me, which I didn’t think was appropriate,” he said.
On social media, Trump was by far the most talked-about debate participant, followed by retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.