Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich told Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly she was “fascinated with sex” during a contentious debate over Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday night.
Gingrich’s comment came after Kelly brought up Trump’s falling poll numbers, especially with women, since the release of the infamous 2005 Access Hollywood video where Trump bragged that his fame allowed him to grab women “by the p—y.” In the time since the release of the tape, 10 women have come forward with accusations against the GOP nominee that he kissed or groped them without consent. (Trump has denied those claims repeatedly, calling the women “liars” and threatening legal action against them.)
“The three major networks spent 23 minutes attacking Donald Trump that night, and 57 seconds on Hillary Clinton’s secret speeches,” Gingrich said of the Access Hollywood tape. “You don’t think this is a scale of bias worthy of Pravda and Izvestia? I mean, you want to know why Donald Trump has had a rough time…”
As Gingrich spoke, Kelly said, “If Trump is a sexual predator, that is…” The comment angered Gingrich who hit back at the term “sexual predator,” telling Kelly she “can’t say that.”
Their back and forth continued:
KELLY: OK, that’s your opinion. I’m not taking a position on it.
GINGRICH: You could not defend that statement. Now I’m sick and tired of people like you using language that’s inflammatory that’s not true.
KELLY: Excuse me, Mr. Speaker, you have no idea whether it’s true or not —
GINGRICH: Neither do you.
KELLY: That’s right, and I’m not taking a position on it, unlike you.
GINGRICH: Yes you are. When you use the words, you took a position. And I think it’s very unfair of you to do that, Megyn. I think that is exactly the bias people are upset by.
“I think that your defensiveness on this might speak volumes, sir,” Kelly added after the exchange. “Let me make my point. What I said is if Trump is a sexual predator, then it’s a big story. And what we saw on that tape was Trump himself saying he likes to grab women by the genitals and grab them against their will. That’s what we saw. Then we saw 10 women come forward after he denied doing it at a debate to say that was untrue. … He denies it all. Which is his right, we don’t know what the truth is. My point to you is, as a media story, we don’t get to say the 10 women are lying. We have to cover that story, sir.”
Gingrich responded by again bringing up the disparity of coverage between Trump and Hillary Clinton in the mainstream media. “You want to go back through the tapes of your show recently?” he added. “You are fascinated with sex, and you don’t care about public policy. That’s what I get out of watching you tonight.”
“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,” she said.
From there, Gingrich attacked Kelly for not bringing up sexual assault allegations against Bill Clinton, and taunted the anchor to call Clinton a “sexual predator.” Kelly didn’t, and closed the interview with a call for Gingrich to take a breather. “You can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them,” she said.
On Wednesday morning, after the interview went viral, Gingrich tweeted, “For the record, @megynkelly was wrong, i don’t have anger management issues. I do have media bias issues!”
Watch the segment below.
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