In an epic smackdown in the annals of political television, former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich accused Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly of being “fascinated with sex,” daring her to say the words, “Bill Clinton, sexual predator” in the same sentence.
In heated discussion on “The Kelly File” Tuesday night, Gingrich, who is now a Trump adviser and surrogate, belittled questions about women who recently accused Trump of sexual wrongdoing in the wake of video of the Republican nominee bragging about kissing and touching women without their permission.
When Kelly used the term “sexual predator” to describe the accusations, Gingrich pointed his finger at the anchor and said, “I am sick and tired of people like you using that language. That is inflammatory, that is not true.”
“When you use the words, you took a position, and I think it is very unfair of you to do that, Megyn,” Gingrich added. “I think that is exactly the bias people are upset by.”
See the confrontational interview:
“I think that your defensiveness on this may speak volumes, sir,” Kelly fired back.
“Let me make my point … If Trump is a sexual predator, then it’s a big story. And what we saw on that tape was Trump saying himself he likes to grab women by the genitals and kiss them against their will. That’s what we saw. Then we saw 10 women come forward after he denied actually doing it.”
Gingrich claimed the national news media are spending far too much time on the recent Trump scandal while largely ignoring WikiLeaks’ release of emails from the campaign of Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy,” Gingrich said.
“Me, really?” Kelly asked.
“That’s what I get out of watching you tonight,” Gingrich said.
Kelly responded: “You know what, Mr. Speaker? I’m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office.”
Gingrich noted, “And therefore we’re gonna send Bill Clinton back to the East Wing because, after all, you were worried about sexual predators.”
He continued pummeling Kelly: “Do you want to comment on whether the Clinton ticket has a relationship to a sexual predator?”
“I just wanna hear you use the words. I wanna hear the words, ‘Bill Clinton, sexual predator.’ I dare you. Say ‘Bill Clinton, sexual predator.'”
Kelly stressed that her program has covered the Clinton scandals, interviewing the likes of Kathleen Willey, one of several women who claim former President Bill Clinton sexually abused them.
At the close of the interview, Kelly outright stated that Gingrich had to deal with his “anger issues.”
“We’re gonna have to leave it at that, and you can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them, Mr. Speaker,” she concluded.
“And you, too,” Gingrich responded.
On Wednesday, Trump commented to Gingrich about the interview.
“Congratulations,” Trump said. “That was an amazing interview last night … We don’t play games, Newt.”
During his national radio broadcast Wednesday, Rush Limbaugh explained how he would have responded to Kelly:
“I would have said, ‘The woman who is on the ballot enabled her husband as a sexual predator and that is much more important than what Bill Clinton did, at this moment.’ …
“Hillary Clinton enabled her husband. Hillary Clinton defended her husband. Hillary Clinton then searched and destroyed the women who came forth and accused her husband.”
“The woman who is on the Democrat ballot is just as guilty because when her husbandwas enaged in this predation … she enabled it. She made it happen. She made it possible for him to continue this.”
Reaction on social media is flooding in, with most people siding with Gingrich and criticizing Kelly:
- She’s so biased against Trump. Actually, quite sad. She went after both [Mike] Pence and Newt tonight, but Newt put her in her place! She was HOSTILE. (Connie Hammond)
- Sick of Megan Kelly … she is so brainwashed by [Hillary Rodham Clinton] and has joined the lies and corruption of the Clinton machine. She has turned so biased and angry, that she certainly should not be informing people of the news. But it is not news any more, but more like Clinton propaganda. (Jane Peeler Sawyer)
- She is a disgusting pig. Megan, strong women are not insulted by Donald Trump. You try to speak for women, but you have NO Right! You should be FIRED from Fox. You are a Liberal … It is disgusting the way you constantly put Mr. Trump down. You have a personal vendetta against Trump. You are nothing. Maybe CNN will hire you, after all that is where you belong. Bimbo. (Debbie Fauble)
Two of the women who have accused former President Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct took to Twitter to criticize Kelly after the interview with Gingrich.
Juanita Broaddrick, who accused Bill Clinton of rape in 1999 and has been actively speaking out during Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign this year, called Kelly “ugly as hell on the inside” in a tweet early Wednesday.
And Paula Jones, who sued Bill Clinton for sexual assault in 1994, said Kelly “isn’t for all women” and “hates Trump.” Jones also called Kelly a “nasty heifer” in a tweet that was later deleted.
Follow Joe Kovacs on Twitter @JoeKovacsNews