Plus, 6 more big moments from his interview with the Fox News anchor
After months of build-up, Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly finally sat down one-on-one.
The presumptive Republican nominee for President welcomed the Fox News anchor into Trump Tower for the interview. The meeting seemed impossible last fall, when Trump and his followers bashed Kelly on Twitter for her questioning of Trump at a debate, but the conversation that aired Tuesday night on Fox’s first episode of Megyn Kelly Presents was cordial.
Here are the 7 noteworthy moments:
The death of Trump’s brother was ‘very tough’
Trump admired his older brother, Fred Jr., hailing him as “handsome” and “really smart,” but he died of alcoholism at the age of 43. Seeing how alcohol affected his brother dissuaded Trump from ever drinking, he told Kelly. “That was the hardest thing for me to take,” he said of his brother’s death. “That was very tough, because it’s unnatural.”
‘I’m a counterpuncher’
Watch the latest video at video.foxnews.com
Trump claimed his headline-making insults of his former Republican Primary opponents and others are acts of self-defense. “When I’m wounded, I go after people hard. I try and un-wound myself,” he said. When Kelly asked about parents trying to raise their kids not to lob insults or act like bullies, Trump doubled down on the idea he merely replies to barbs. “I’ve been saying during this whole campaign that I’m a counterpuncher — you understand that. I’m responding,” he says. “I then respond times maybe 10 — I don’t know. I respond pretty strongly. In just about all cases, I’ve been responding [to] what they do to me.”
The brash talking has been a key to success
Trump’s oratory style drastically differs from anyone else who’s run for President in this election cycle — and he said he thinks it’s helped fuel his success on the campaign trail. “I think if I didn’t conduct myself in the way I’ve done it, I don’t think I would have been successful, actually,” he says. “If I were soft, if I were ‘presidential’ — in a way, it’s a bad word, because there’s nothing wrong with being presidential. If I would not have fought back the way I had fought back, I don’t think I would have been successful.”
On resolving his conflict with Kelly
The rockiness between Trump and Kelly began at the Aug. 6, 2015 debate when Kelly asked if Trump’s history of calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals” was an indicator of someone who possessed the temperament to be president. Trump said he was caught off guard, and that while he respected the moderators’ jobs, “I don’t have to like it.” He praised Kelly for organizing the one-on-one interview.
“I have great respect for you, that you were able to call me and say, ‘Let’s get together and let’s talk,'” Trump told Kelly. “For me, I would not have done that. I don’t see that as a positive; I think it’s a negative for me.”
But he didn’t fully back off ‘bimbo’ retweet
“When you and I were having our little difficulty, you probably had some pretty nasty tweets sent your way. I don’t want that to happen, but I have fans — we have an unbelievable bond,” said Trump, whose supporters attacked Kelly on Twitter. In January, Trump manually retweeted a message calling Kelly “bimbo.” When confronted by Kelly, Trump replied, “Did I say that? [Kelly: ‘Many times.’] Oh. Excuse me.” After a silence, he said the insult was “not the most horrible thing. Over your life, Megyn, you’ve been called a lot worse, wouldn’t you say? You’ve had a life that’s not been that easy.”
“It’s not about me, it’s about the messaging to young girls and to other women,” Kelly responded.
Who runs Trump’s Twitter?
At night, Trump personally tweets. During campaign hours, he has staffers he will “call out a tweet to.” He looks them over and approves of any exclamation points before they’re sent off.
It’s White House or bust
An unnamed writer called Trump to commend him on what he’s accomplished thus far. But Trump said he doesn’t believe he can make real changes without being elected. “If I don’t go all the way, and if I don’t win, I will consider it to be a total and complete waste of time, energy, and money,” he told Kelly.