Alex Jones Grilled About Sandy Hook Comments in Contentious Interview With Megyn Kelly
He also downplayed his connection with President Trump and revealed that it costs $45 million-$50 million to run his site annually.
During an often-contentious interview with Alex Jones, Megyn Kelly grilled the controversial InfoWars host and Trump ally on his views on topics ranging from the Sandy Hook massacre to the recent terror attack in Manchester, England.
Jones, who has espoused false conspiracy theories about Sandy Hook as well as Hillary Clinton and pizza-gate, had called the victims of the Manchester attack "liberal trendies, the same people — God love them — on average who are promoting open borders, bringing Islamists in."
Asked to explain that statement on NBC News' Sunday Night With Megyn Kelly, Jones said, sarcastically: "I'm sorry I didn't blow 'em up. I know. But I did something bad, though?"
When Kelly then noted that one of the victims was an 8-year-old girl, Jones replied that the media "misinterpreted" his remarks, which were made early on when there was little known about the attack:: "The media misrepresenting and clipping that the way you did. I got home at, like, 6:00, heard about it. The ages of the victims weren't even known. But they were saying it was jihadi. And I said, 'How crazy is it that liberal trendies are now the victims?' And then I start going and looking. Of course, if there's kids being killed by Muslims, I'm not saying that it's their fault. Of course, if kids are the victims, I'm not saying it's their fault."
Leading up the the interview, Kelly and NBC News faced backlash and outcry from the families of the victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newton, Conn., over the interview. In 2014, Jones said he believed that the Sandy Hook massacre, in which 26 people were murdered, including 20 children, was a "hoax" and "fake."
"At that point, and I do think there's some cover-up and some manipulation, that is pretty much what I believed. But then I was also going into devil's advocate. But then we know there's mass shootings, and these things happen," he said.
He added later: "I remember, even that day, to go back from memory, then saying, 'But then, some of it looks like it's real.' But then what do you do, when they've got the kids going in circles, in and out of the building with their hands up? I've watched the footage. And it looks like a drill."
Several times he turned the topic to the media's ignoring of the "evil wars" and the fact that people aren't angry about the "half million dead Iraqis from the sanctions" or "all the illegals pouring in." During Jones' response, Kelly at one point accused him of dodging the question, but he replied: "The media never covers all the evil wars."
"Here's the difference," he said. "I looked at all angles of Newtown [the Sandy Hook massacre], and I made my statements long before the media even picked up on it."
He added: "I tend to believe that children probably did die there. But then you look at all the other evidence on the other side. I can see how other people believe that nobody died there."
In a voiceover, Kelly noted that during their conversation, Jones "never completely disavowed his previous statements."
Kelly also interviewed Neil Heslin, a parent who lost his 6-year-old son in the massacre, who said that Jones' conspiracy theories are "disrespectful to me where in fact I did lose my son. And the 26 other families lost somebody. And I take that very personal."
Noting that the Jones interview would air on Father's Day, Heslin said of Jones: "I think he's blessed to have his children to spend the day with, to speak to. I don't have that."
A few hours after the interview aired on the East Coast, Jones posted a minute-long video sending his condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the Sandy Hook massacre.
"I woke up this morning on Father's Day, and I was holding my young infant daughter in my arms, looking into her eyes, sitting on the back porch, hearing the birds sing, and it just brought tears to my eyes, thinking of all the parents that have lost their children on Father's Day or Mother's Day, who have to then think about that," he said. "Parents should never have to bury their own children. And that's why on Father's Day, I want to reach out to the parents of the slain children at the horrible tragedy in Newtown, Conn., and give you my sincere condolences."
He also asked those parents to reach out to him to start an "open dialogue."
"I think it's really essential we do that instead of letting the MSM [mainstream media] misrepresent things and really try to drive this nation apart," he said. "Right now is a time for unity and peace in our country, I think now more than ever."
Jones also downplayed his connection to Donald Trump, saying he thinks the mainstream media has overstated his influence on the president. He told Kelly, in response to her questions, that they are friendly but not friends. Asked how many times Trump has called Jones, he replied: "I don't want to get into all that."
InfoWars makes its money by selling products like nutritional supplements and Trump merchandise. Jones revealed that it costs $45 million-50 million to run his site annually, and the money he makes off the product sales is "pretty much put back into" his company.
Asked if he is a journalist, Jones said he employs journalists who have broken "a lot of big stories." "I understand the basics of it," he added.
Kelly noted that Jones has no script when he shoots a show.
"Ninety-five percent of what we cover is looking at a news article and then, you know, discussing it," he said.
To which Kelly replied: "But you know, if you just look at an article and discuss it, it's garbage in, garbage out, right? If you haven't ascertained the veracity of that article, and it's all BS, and then you spend two hours talking about it, then you've put out a bunch of misinformation. I'm just trying to figure out what the vetting process is."
His response was to criticize the mainstream media again: "I mean, we all get Hillary was 15 points ahead, okay? And I mean, we all get mainstream media has got a big problem."
At the beginning of the segment, Kelly addressed the controversy over her decision to interview Jones: "Some thought we shouldn't broadcast this interview because his baseless allegations aren't just offensive, they're dangerous. But here's the thing: Alex Jones isn't going away. Over the years, his YouTube channel has racked up 1.3 billion views. He has millions of listeners and the ear of our current president."
Watch the interview below.
Leading up to the interview, on Tuesday, an anti-gun violence organization founded by parents of children who were killed in the 2012 school shooting dropped Kelly as host of an event in Washington. CNN chief Jeff Zucker said the marketing for the televised sit-down has been "unfortunate."
On Thursday, Jones leaked a private conversation between himself and Kelly in which the latter could be heard promising to treat him fairly and saying that the segment would not be a "hit piece."
"I've never done this in 22 years, I've never recorded another journalist," Jones said in a video posted to Twitter, teasing the two-minute leak posted to his site. "I've never done this, but I knew that it was a fraud, that it was a lie."
Jones also called out the "mainstream media," including The Hollywood Reporter, for its recent coverage, claiming that his words were taken out of context and heavily edited in promo clips. "I got it all on tape, sweetheart," he said during Thursday's Infowars show. "I did it to protect myself so I can show what she really did."
On Friday morning, Jones and Infowars released a 30-minute video featuring more of his conversation with Kelly. In it, she expresses sympathy for him several times and says she agrees with his assertion that the media unfairly covered his child custody hearing in April.
On Sunday, Jones threatened to release the full video of the interview online if NBC News did not.
June 18, 7:13 p.m. Alex Jones' video and statements added.
Jeremy Barr contributed to this report.