Donald Trump is not only refusing to apologize for his controversial comments about Megyn Kelly — the Republican frontrunner now says the Fox News host should apologize to him.
“She should really be apologizing to me, you want to know the truth,” Trump said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Monday. “And other candidates have said that.”
During last week’s primetime debate, Kelly, a co-moderator, asked the real estate mogul about his history of sexist comments about women — a question Trump believes was “nasty.”
"It was an inappropriate question,” Trump said on NBC’s “Today” show Monday. “It was a ridiculous question. Even the other candidates came up to me and said that that was absolutely out of line.”
On Friday, Trump’s assertion in an interview with CNN that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” during the debate drew immediate outrage.
Trump and Kelly sparred during last Thursday’s debate. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)
Erick Erickson, organizer of the annual RedState Gathering in Georgia, quickly disinvited Trump.
“I don’t want my daughter in the room with Donald Trump,” Erickson told attendees Saturday. “If our standard-bearer has to resort to that, then we need a new standard-bearer.”
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush called on Trump to apologize.
“There’s no excuse for this,” Carly Fiorina — the former Hewlett-Packard chief executive and lone woman in the Republican field — told Fox News Sunday.
On Sunday, Trump refused to apologize, saying only a “deviant” would have concluded he was referring to Kelly’s menstrual cycle.
“If I had said that, it would have been inappropriate,” Trump said on “Today.” “I was going to say ears or nose, because that’s just a common statement — blood is pouring out of your ears.”
The former “Celebrity Apprentice” star said his GOP rivals are “lucky” he’s in the race. According to Nielsen Media Research, more than 24 million viewers tuned in to watch the two-hour primetime debate on Fox News — making it the highest-rated primary debate in television history.
“If I wasn’t on the show, they would have had 2 million people watching,” Trump said. “The other candidates are very lucky because at least people are watching what they’re saying as opposed to nobody caring.”
Meanwhile, some of Trump’s supporters are trying to get Kelly barred from moderating future Republican debates. A Change.org petition launched by Teri Amici has gathered more than 35,000 signatures since it was posted on Friday.
“We deserve better than Megyn Kelly,” Amici writes.
On Fox News’ MediaBuzz Sunday, Kelly defended her debate performance, saying she wasn’t trying to “attack” Trump by asking about his history of “sexist” remarks.
“My job is to go out there and ask probing questions that are hopefully smart and help the people learn something about this person and, in this context, their weaknesses.” she said. “It was a fair question.”
On Monday morning, Trump tweeted that he had talked with Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who assured him he would be “treated fairly” by the cable news network.