Fox Denies Megyn Kelly Vacation "Conspiracy Theories," Calls Donald Trump's Implications "Irresponsible"
"Perhaps Mr. Trump thinks it's advantageous to his poll numbers to keep talking about Megyn, but that doesn't change the fact that Roger Ailes has fully supported her and her tough journalistic questioning since day one and is thrilled with the added exposure from the debate which resulted in even higher ratings of 'The Kelly File' this week," Fox said in a statement.
Fox News is coming to the defense of Megyn Kelly following rumors that the network's Kelly File anchor took a 10-day vacation because of Donald Trump.
Kelly announced Wednesday on her program that she would be taking her first vacation in six months: "Well, it's been an interesting week and a long six months without a vacation for yours truly," she said to audiences. "So I'll be taking the next week and a half off, spending some time with my husband and my kids trying to relax."
She continued, "the big challenge is trying to put down the electronica and unplug. ... I am going to try and look at my little ones' faces and go for bike rides and play at the beach and not look at you," she said, staring down at her phone.
Speculations arose following her announcement that the reasoning for the journalist's vacation is because of comments Trump made following the GOP debate, which included the former Apprentice star saying that she had "blood coming out of her whatever," is "overrated" and a "lightweight."
Trump reportedly told Newsmax TV host Steve Malzberg Friday afternoon that he believed there was a connection between Kelly's vacation and his comments. "Well, there probably was, but I wouldn’t know anything about it," Trump said, Mediaite reported. "People were very surprised that, all the sudden, she decided to go away for 10 days. … Some people make those quick decisions."
The GOP candidate tweeted Monday that Fox News chairman and CEO Roger Ailes had called him to discuss the friction. "He is a great guy & assures me that 'Trump' will be treated fairly on @FoxNews," Trump wrote. "His word is always good!"
Ailes confirmed the conversation with Trump in a statement issued to The Hollywood Reporter: "Donald Trump and I spoke today," Ailes' statement reads. "We discussed our concerns, and I again expressed my confidence in Megyn Kelly. She is a brilliant journalist, and I support her 100 percent. I assured him that we will continue to cover this campaign with fairness and balance. We had a blunt but cordial conversation, and the air has been cleared"
A Fox spokesperson confirmed that Kelly's vacation was previously planned and passed on the following statement to The Hollywood Reporter:
“The conspiracy theories about Megyn Kelly’s vacation rank up there with UFOs, the moon landing and Elvis being alive. Megyn is on a preplanned, annual summer vacation with her family, which is much deserved. To imply otherwise as Donald Trump and his campaign operatives have is not only wildly irresponsible, but downright bizarre. Perhaps Mr. Trump thinks it’s advantageous to his poll numbers to keep talking about Megyn, but that doesn’t change the fact that Roger Ailes has fully supported her and her tough journalistic questioning since day one and is thrilled with the added exposure from the debate which resulted in even higher ratings of The Kelly File this week. Anyone who knows Roger is aware of how historically and consistently loyal he is to all of his talent and how he protects them at all costs. As Governor Terry Branstad said today, 'When you’re a candidate, you’ve got to basically answer the questions. You can’t just attack the person asking the questions. That doesn’t work.'"
Kelly returns to The Kelly File Aug. 24.