Megyn Kelly Has "High Hopes" for Trump: "Despite the Tweets, There Is Much to Admire"
"We should appeal to his best angels ... and hold him to account when the little devils appear," the 'Kelly File' host said during THR's annual Women in Entertainment breakfast. "When and if the dark forces rear their heads, we must maintain our dignity."
Despite a high-profile year of feuding with Donald Trump, Megyn Kelly is open to America's new president-elect, she shared Wednesday morning at The Hollywood Reporter's Women in Entertainment breakfast. The Fox News host revealed she has "high hopes" for Trump's turn in the White House as she delivered the event's opening remarks.
"What a way to end a year that really has been so much about women. From that question that I asked Donald Trump at the first GOP debate, to Hillary Clinton’s campaign and beyond, the subject of 'women' was everywhere this year," Kelly told a room full of the industry's power women, including Sherry Lansing and Tina Fey. "And sometimes, let's face it, in disturbing ways."
The Kelly File host, who has been on the receiving end of Twitter attacks from Trump and death threats from his supporters since she boldly confronted him about his sexist comments at the first Republican debate in 2015, praised Clinton and other examples of strong women who have similarly stood tall "in the face of firestorms, fury and fear."
"Carly Fiorina with her mic-drop moment at that debate after Trump publicly mocked her face. Katy Tur of MSNBC, who was savaged by certain Trump supporters relentlessly for her fair coverage, but never backed down," she said, continuing, "Melania Trump, who was slut-shamed for her modeling photos, called a 'trophy wife' by a very well-known newspaper, but held her head high and spoke of loving America. Michelle Obama, who set the example in how to stand up for what you believe in with grace and class."
Kelly added, "And Hillary Clinton, who broke a barrier no other woman has ever done in America, and told little girls: 'Listen up — you're next.'"
But Fox News' star remains hopeful about Trump's presidency.
"Despite the tweets and all the rest of it, there is much to admire about Donald Trump," she said to light booing from the crowd, and direct opposition from Kathy Griffin, who responded by raising her middle finger in the air. Kelly joked that Omarosa Manigault, who held a thumbs-up following her statement, would "hurt" Griffin and anyone who continued to boo. Griffin even tweeted video of the incident later:
"There's room for the loyal opposition in this country, absolutely. [But] the more we understand that and the more we understand why he won this election, the better off we'll be," said Kelly. "We should appeal to his best angels ... and hold him to account when the little devils appear. When and if the dark forces rear their heads, we must maintain our dignity."
She continued, "As women, we must reject the urge to fight with pigs — which gets us dirty and the pigs enjoy. But if a fight is unavoidable, then fight ... with composure, and grace. And we let our children see us do it — standing tall and sometimes playing hurt."
The mother of three didn't shy away from admitting that "being on the receiving end of sexism is not enjoyable. I can attest to that first-hand. And we can lament that this is still a reality of 2016 America all day long. But there's no time for lamentations. There’s no time for wallowing. We have got to get to work. To do better. We have to be better."
Kelly urged attendees to be "our most internally powerful, inspirational, amazing selves."
"We can go big in this endeavor ... like the women of Fox News who, with their stiletto shoes and nerves of steel, formed an underground army of sorts, and at great risk to their livelihoods, brought down a very powerful serial sexual harasser," she said to roaring applause, referring to former Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who left the network back in July amidst a swarm of sexual assault allegations from former employees (including Kelly). "Or we can go ... less big, like not letting ourselves be interrupted at the table."
Kelly concluded her opening speech by telling women to dwell only in optimism: "Drink in that belief in our own limitless power. Accept the realization that we don't have to settle for less when it comes to respect and dignity and what we deserve and can accomplish. We resolve that we will do better, and be better ... that we will find a way to settle for more."