UPDATED: Alex Jones released his “pre-interview” conversation with NBC’s Megyn Kelly on Friday.
The conversation was seemingly secretly recorded and almost certainly considered off-the-record. The discussion has Kelly trying to woo a skeptical Jones to come on her show and assuring him their interview would not be “contentious.” The controversial Infowars host has also threatened to release their entire raw four-hour sit-down interview — which he also claims to have recorded — after NBC airs its edited version Sunday night.
“I have 30-plus minutes of her lying … information warfare is a two-way street,” declared Jones, who slammed Kelly as “the mouth of Satan” to his listeners and “worse than college topless bar women trying to get you to pay for a table dance.”
In response, NBC released a statement Friday that confirmed the Jones interview will go forward as planned. “Despite Alex Jones’ efforts to distract from and ultimately prevent the airing of our report, we remain committed to giving viewers context and insight into a controversial and polarizing figure, how he relates to the president of the United States and influences others, and to get this serious story right,” the statement read. “Tune in Sunday.”
In the newly leaked audio (the full version of which Jones posted on his public YouTube channel), a woman who is apparently Kelly tells Jones she became “fascinated” by him after seeing reports of his recent divorce proceeding, which she says showed Jones to be more than a “one-dimensional guy” and rather somebody who cared about his family.
“It just reminded me you’re just like anybody, you’re a dad, and go through the same things we go through, and I thought that would be an interesting story to tell… this is not going to be a contentious, gotcha exchange. I want to do in-depth profiles on people. So I can ask you [about your Sandy Hook and Pizzagate claims] but this isn’t going to be, ‘ah-ha, let’s play a clip.’ … I’m not looking to portray you as a boogyman… I just want to talk about you, I want to get to know you. And the craziest thing of all would be if some people who have this insane version of you in their heads walk away with, ‘You know what? I see the dad in him, and loves those kids and is more complex than I’ve been led to believe … of course I’m going to do a fair interview, I’ll still be me, I’m not going to go out there and be Barbara Walters, but you just trust me. I’ll ask you about the controversies. I’ll be fair about it. I’ll give you a chance to respond. And I really just want to talk about you … I always say I’m a combination of Mike Wallace, Oprah Winfrey, and Larry the Cable Guy — and that’s what you’ll get in the interview, a little bit of all three of those. And hopefully, everybody will walk away feeling like they had a good dinner, nutritious, with some red meat and some dessert at the end.”
Jones posted the clips of Kelly’s assurances edited together with NBC’s previews of his interview on Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly which show Kelly grilling him skeptically (“that does not excuse what you did and said about Newtown and you know it,” she shot back at one point). But while Jones tries to frame Kelly as duplicitous, she does make it clear to him that she’s going to ask about his controversies and her references to giving viewers some “red meat” and saying a portion of the show will emulate the famously combative 60 Minutes anchor Mike Wallace were clear suggestions that the interview would have some tough moments. The audio released by Jones is also not continuous, so it’s not clear if there is content he’s leaving out.
“She spent 30 to 40 minutes on Pizzagate, and Newtown and saying that I was claiming that Brits deserved to be bombed,” Jones complained. “She just sat there and played along with her greater deception.” On the leaked tape, Jones also admitted to Kelly, “I say a lot of wild stuff and a lot of it is satire.”
Previously, on Thursday night, Jones tweeted a teaser of the conversation and explained, “I’ve never done this in 22 years, I’ve never recorded another journalist, but I knew it was a fraud, that it was [a] lie. God, she was like, ‘I want to get steaks with you, I’m obsessed with you, oh my god,’ wiggling around in her seat. It was all crap. I knew it was all a lie. I said Sandy Hook happened, and she wouldn’t even put it in the promo pieces. So we’re going to release — oh yeah — the pre-interview. And then when they put the fraud out on Sunday — which I’ve asked them not to air because they’re misrepresenting who I am and say I’m as bad as Saddam Hussein… we’ve got the whole interviews here … You’re going to hear what I actually said … it’s all going to come out tonight.”
The tweet was accompanied by an audio recording of Kelly. “All I can do is give you my word and tell you if there’s one thing about me, I do what I say I’m gonna do, and I don’t double-cross,” she said. “You know you just became very fascinating to me. I just always thought you were this maybe, [y’know] one-dimensional guy, like this is your thing… My goal is for your listeners and the left — you know, who will be watching some on NBC — to say, ‘Wow, that was really interesting.’ And then the next time I wanna get somebody, they’re gonna say, ‘Look what you did to Alex Jones!’ It’s not going to be some gotcha hit piece, I promise you that.”
NBC and Infowars did not reply to request to comment.
Families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings have denounced NBC’s Sunday night interview and have pressured the network to cancel the broadcast.
“What I think we’re doing is journalism,” Kelly has said. “The bottom line is that while it’s not always popular, it’s important. I would submit to you that neither I nor NBC News has elevated Alex Jones in any way. He’s been elevated by 5 or 6 million viewers or listeners, and by the president of the United States. As you know, journalists don’t get the choice over who has power or influence in our country.”