The NBC anchor says the interview is meant to 'shine a light' on 'this influential figure'

By Nick Romano
June 13, 2017 at 11:17 AM EDT
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NBC’s newly minted newswoman Megyn Kelly released a new statement on Tuesday defending her upcoming controversial interview with Info Wars conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after she was dropped from hosting a fundraiser event for the Sandy Hook Foundation.

“I understand and respect the decision of the event organizers but I’m of course disappointed that I won’t be there to support them on Wednesday night,” she began. “I find Alex Jones’s suggestion that Sandy Hook was ‘a hoax’ as personally revolting as every other rational person does. It left me, and many other Americans, asking the very question that prompted this interview: how does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions?”

She continued: “President Trump, by praising and citing him, appearing on his show, and giving him White House press credentials, has helped elevate Jones, to the alarm of many. Our goal in sitting down with him was to shine a light – as journalists are supposed to do — on this influential figure, and yes — to discuss the considerable falsehoods he has promoted with near impunity.”

Among his string of outrageous claims on Info Wars, Jones stated in the past that the Sandy Hook shooting, that killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012, was “completely fake with actors.” As a result, parents of the victims received death threats from his followers.

On Monday, Sandy Hook Promise, the gun violence prevention organization hosting the Promise Champions Gala, announced “Kelly will no longer host” the event, taking place on Wednesday, June 14.

“Sandy Hook Promise cannot support the decision by Megyn or NBC to give any form of voice or platform to Alex Jones and have asked Megyn Kelly to step down as our Promise Champion Gala host,” Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, said in a statement. “It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.”

A clip released by NBC News from the interview appears to show Kelly confronting Jones about his Sandy Hook claims. Jones attempts to dodge the blame by pointing to mainstream media, but she counters, “That doesn’t excuse what you did or said.”

According to The Wall Street Journal, J.P. Morgan pulled their NBC News ads over the interview, while Jones has since called for NBC to cancel its airing for “misrepresenting my views on Sandy Hook.”

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