Fox News Fires Back at Trump, Calls His "Obsession" With Megyn Kelly "Sick"

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Donald Trump

"As the mother of three young children, with a successful law career and the second-highest-rated show in cable news, it’s especially deplorable for her to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job.”

Following days of GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump disparaging Fox News host Megyn Kelly, the network fired back on Friday.

"Donald Trump’s vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land," the statement read in part. "Megyn is an exemplary journalist and one of the leading anchors in America — we’re extremely proud of her phenomenal work and continue to fully support her throughout every day of Trump’s endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults."

The response follows days of comments the billionaire businessman has made over social media, the final straw for the network apparently being Trump's Friday afternoon tweet in which he called for a boycott of Kelly's show, as well as referring to her as "sick." 

"As the mother of three young children, with a successful law career and the second-highest-rated show in cable news, it’s especially deplorable for her to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job," Fox News said in its statement.

The host of The Kelly File has been in Trump's crosshairs since the first Fox News GOP primary debate, which took place in early August. 

Kelly, a co-moderator for the event, asked Trump right off the bat about sexist comments he has made in the past. 

Following that event, Trump criticized Kelly in interviews and over social media, which all came to a head when the second Fox News debate came around. Trump demanded Kelly not be a part of the debate because he claimed she was biased against him. 

He ended up skipping that debate. 

However, Trump did attend the recent third Fox News debate where he was very polite to Kelly. Yet, the peace did not last long. Soon after the event, Trump once again was criticizing Kelly in interviews and over social media because she, in his opinion, was having guests on her show who did not talk about his candidacy or poll numbers favorably. 

The Trump campaign responded on Friday evening calling Megyn Kelly "a highly overrated reporter and anchor that constantly disparages Mr. Trump with negative and inaccurate reports."

"Despite the fact he wants nothing to do with her and will not appear on her show due to her extremely biased reporting, much of the program is about him anyway on a nightly basis," according to the campaign statement. "In fact, FOX News has begged Mr. Trump to do a prime time special to be broadcast on the FOX Network, not cable, with Megyn Kelly. He has turned them down. Likewise, they recently called for an unsolicited and unplanned debate with Kelly as a featured moderator. He turned them down and they immediately canceled. "

The March 21 debate was planned by the RNC in February. Fox News was later named the host. 

"On the FOX debate that Mr. Trump did not do, they received by far their lowest rating," according to the statement from the Trump campaign. "Unlike Megyn Kelly, who resorts to putting out statements via FOX News, Mr. Trump will continue to defend himself against the inordinate amount of unfair and inaccurate coverage he receives on her second-rate show each night."

Fox News soon there after responded to Trump campaign claims, stating no one associated with Kelly’s special reached out to Trump to be a guest on the program.

Trump responded to that claim.

"Roger Ailes has personally made this request, he can deny it if he wants, but he knows the truth and we have irrefutable proof," according to the Trump campaign. 

Fox News then clarified that neither Kelly nor Bill Geddie, the executive producer of the Fox News show, invited Trump on the program.

On Saturday, Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes issued the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter in response: "Of course we would welcome having Trump on the air because we put the public's right to know above all else. Megyn was willing to conduct an interview with him for the broadcast special and we thought Trump would be willing to answer tough, but fair questions — apparently that's not the case."

Trump later responded in a statement to THR, "I would like to thank Roger Ailes for confirming the truth, except that Megyn Kelly and FOX News weren't willing to do it, they were begging to do this. As everyone knows, I am always willing to answer tough but fair questions."

Members of the media took to social media to share their opinions of the ongoing Trump-Kelly feud.

Read the full Fox News statement below. 

“Donald Trump’s vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land. Megyn is an exemplary journalist and one of the leading anchors in America — we’re extremely proud of her phenomenal work and continue to fully support her throughout every day of Trump’s endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults. As the mother of three young children, with a successful law career and the second highest rated show in cable news, it’s especially deplorable for her to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job.”

Read Trump's full statement below.

"Megyn Kelly is a highly overrated reporter and anchor that constantly disparages Mr. Trump with negative and inaccurate reports. Despite the fact he wants nothing to do with her and will not appear on her show due to her extremely biased reporting, much of the program is about him anyway on a nightly basis. In fact, FOX News has begged Mr. Trump to do a prime time special to be broadcast on the FOX Network, not cable, with Megyn Kelly. He has turned them down. Likewise, they recently called for an unsolicited and unplanned debate with Kelly as a featured moderator. He turned them down and they immediately canceled. On the FOX debate that Mr. Trump did not do, they received by far their lowest rating. Unlike Megyn Kelly, who resorts to putting out statements via FOX News, Mr. Trump will continue to defend himself against the inordinate amount of unfair and inaccurate coverage he receives on her second-rate show each night."

March 18, 9:34 p.m. PT: Updated with responses from both Fox and the Trump campaign.

March 18, 7:47 p.m. PT: Updated with a response from Fox News. 

March 18, 6:03 p.m. PT: Updated with statement from Trump's campaign. 

March 19, 11:08 a.m.: Updated with statement from Roger Ailes.

March 19, 11:46 a.m.: Updated with statement from Trump.

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