Books Megyn Kelly

Megyn Kelly poses for a portrait in New York.

NEW YORK — Megyn Kelly said Tuesday she didn’t want to reveal much about President-elect Donald Trump’s treatment of her the past year so as to not be accused of trying to tip the election, but now believes it’s important for people to know the story in case the new administration is hostile to the press.

In her new biography, “Settle For More,” the Fox News Channel personality lays out the private stories behind what happened after her debate question on Trump’s treatment of women caused the Republican candidate to bitterly go after her on social media and in interviews.

One low point, Kelly writes, was when one of her children asked her to define “bimbo” — part of the name-calling against her — and also said she was afraid Trump would hurt her.

Even before that summer 2015 debate, Kelly writes that Trump threatened her with a Twitter storm because he’d heard she was going to ask him a particularly tough question. It raises the question of whether Kelly was sabotaged from within, but Kelly said in an interview that it may have been a bluff because Trump was concerned she would ask him about his treatment of an ex-wife.

Throughout the siege, Kelly said she was convinced Trump was trying to bait her into saying something that would disqualify her from covering the campaign, and she didn’t want to be accused of favoring Hillary Clinton.

Now she believes — she hopes — there’s peace between them and he has bigger things to worry about.

“Every time I thought it was over he would prove me wrong, so I’m a little reluctant to say on the record the word ‘over,’” she said. “But I have several months to back that up and I feel that there’s a warm front that’s been going through.”

She knows she’ll never be his favorite journalist.

“That’s OK with me,” she said. “I’d rather be in that place where I’m not his favorite and I’m not Hillary’s favorite than be his favorite so I can have access, but sell my soul. That’s really what I felt my choice was the past year. There are other journalists who could cover Trump skeptically and he wouldn’t hold it against them, but there was something about me.

“I really had to choose — am I going to be an honest journalist and do that, or am I going to suck up to Trump?” she said. “I chose the former, and it’s worked out fine for me.”

It was far from the only big story Kelly was involved in during the past year. Following former colleague Gretchen Carlson’s lawsuit, Kelly’s private testimony about former Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes’ unwanted advances over a six-month period a decade ago helped lead to Ailes’ firing this past summer. She alleges in the books that Ailes made sexually suggestive comments to her and tried to kiss her, then made an angry reference to her contract when she rebuffed him. Ailes has denied any untoward advances involving Kelly.

Until Carlson’s lawsuit, Kelly said she knew of only one other woman at Fox with a similar experience. Since it was around the same time, she chalked it up to Ailes wanting an extramarital affair then, rather than the actions of a predator.

With Ailes under assault following the lawsuit, he reached out to Kelly through emissaries hoping she’d defend him, in essence asking her to lie for him, she said.

After the incidents and before Ailes’ fall, Kelly said they had a fine professional relationship. He was generous to her family and helped advance her career.

“I’m sure he does feel betrayed by me,” she said. “But I feel betrayed by him.”

Kelly said she felt an obligation to women who had been in similar circumstances to tell her story, and she wants companies to have strong measures in place to prevent such abuses.

“I want the other women out there suffering to know it can happen to anybody — even somebody like me, who had been a lawyer for nine years,” she said, “because I do think women tend to blame themselves.”

She acknowledged her actions led to some tensions with other people within Fox, because Ailes had engendered much loyalty. But she said a more current alleged victim came forward — although not publicly — with a story that “was deeply disturbing” and that plus the volume of accusations seemed to settle debate within the company.

Kelly said these experiences will have little to do with her deliberations over her future. Her contract with Fox expires next July and keeping her in the network’s prime-time lineup is a key priority of the Murdoch family that runs 21st Century Fox.

“I do feel very grateful that I have options,” she said. “So far I’ve had a really great experience working with the Murdochs and really would love to continue working with them. I’ve been nothing but impressed by them.”

The factors she’s weighing “mostly involve a 7-, 5- and 3-year-old,” she said, and her desire for more family time.

(28) comments

tonyc51

"One low point, Kelly writes, was when one of her children asked her to define “bimbo” — part of the name-calling against her — and also said she was afraid Trump would hurt her." In the name of fair play, the child could have been referencing the times Hillary talked about "bimbo eruptions", and the like as used by her in discussing Bill's tawdry interactions with numerous women. Just a thought, Hillary was equally unfit to be elected president.

public-redux

Possible, but not probable.

CDReid

And Clinton said that she had the stamina to be president having put up with Trump for 4.5 hours of debates. Yet, upon learning that she had lost the election, she cried so uncontrollably that those around her couldn't make out what she was saying when she tried to talk. She was most definitely NOT presidential material.

DickD

And you think the 3 a.m. man that is tweeting is? lol

CDReid

At least the man can be awake at 3:00 AM. You seem to forget that Clinton slept right through the 3:00 AM phone call from Benghazi.

Hayduke2

CD - you do know that this is "fake" news right. The attack started around 3:30 p.m. our time....

public-redux

PM, schmeeum. The point is, she slept right thru it.

/sarc (I've learned tags are helpful for you.)

DickD

But it wasn't 3 a.m., it was the middle of the afternoon, for God's sake, if you want to argue at least get your facts right.

MAVRICKinc7

Aren't you twisting and turning HISTORY into something that conforms to hearsay and outright LYING to the American public under the guise of political indifference? You're just another Republican predator and USING this media as a launching pad for your LIES. Simply said, YOU will do anything, and stoop as low as you can get t get your way of thinking as main stream when it's nothing more than Republican propaganda and not much different from Hitler's rise to power.

DickD

Not equally, Tony, in spite of your support of a notorious womanizer.

MAVRICKinc7

WHY is the FNP reducing comments , as above, to REPORT status only and not allowing rebuttal comments to be made?

Quisling

Just because Trump is thin skinned doesn't mean you have to follow his lead.

MAVRICKinc7

WHAT, in your way of thinking constitutes "fair play?" Could it be, you are as much the liar and story maker (propagandist) as Trump is?

sue1955

Ms. Kelly is a mass of contradictions. She thinks there a "warm front" of positive feelings from Mr. Trump when she is getting out a book accusing him. Yeah, right. And, ooh, what a "first world" problem of "a low point" when one of her children asked her what a "bimbo" is. Aww, if that is the worst problem she's ever had, she's lucky. She chose to be accusatory toward Mr. Trump during the campaign and reveled in that. She chose to implicate Ailes after a DECADE of making a huge salary and painted the picture of a loyal employee. Regardless of what you may think of Ailes and Mr. Trump, she's a huge game-player who pretends she was (and is) a damaged innocent. She needs to just live her life and move on without further drama and save us from her in the news playing the wounded routine.

Hayduke2

Spin it sue...

b1sellers

I don't take anything seriously from her due to her past posts. She is a very intolerable person.

DickD

She should have revealed all of this many months ago, saying it now has little meaning, we all know what kind of person Trump is.

CDReid

Yep, he's the kind who can win an election, Clinton can't. She tried twice and failed twice, the second time to a non-politician whom you people seem to like to label an anti-Muslim, homophobic racist. [lol][lol][lol]

DickD

Clinton just was not as good a liar as Trump, so be it. Another election four years from now and Donald will have a record - to defend.

b1sellers

"you people seem to like to label an anti-Muslim, homophobic racist" Yes, "you people" have it right. He is anti Muslim. Words matter. He is a racist. Actions matter. Have never heard him called homophobic - are you projecting?

MAVRICKinc7

SO why haven't you moved on?

DickD

And Trump is our President, elect, God Help us all!!!

CDReid

God bless president-elect Trump!!!

Hayduke2

Actually, we'll all need God's blessing...

MAVRICKinc7

And then WHAT? Is the human species capable of doing the right thing when it has failed so many times throughout history to do the right thing, all the way to today's date? Look around. Where has GOD intervened in man's tribulations other than by inference to a deity none of US can shake hands with? While the God sentiment is as valid as it has always been, what difference has it made in party and tribal politics?

MAVRICKinc7

Don't believe GOD will have anything to do with this mess WE are in. It's all man-made. We can pray to our hearts content but man will not change, no matter how many hail Mary's he gets.

public-redux

Dick, I thought your comment ended with "God help us allah!!" My bad.

DickD

lol, the exclamation points do look that way, when you look quick, can't blame you for that, I have done a few like that and had them pointed out too.

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