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Jimmy Fallon started off asking her about the complaints some candidates (Trump) had about her moderating abilities.
“They kind of got it right in the kisser!” she told Fallon. “That’s what you have to do — they want George Washington’s job. So, I’m a member of the press and we’re supposed to press.”
Fallon then mentioned Trump’s tweets about the Fox News anchor, saying they “got out of hand,” leading to Trump bowing out of the next debate.
“He said it was about me, then it was about a statement my boss put out, then it was about a gum wrapper on the floor,” Kelly said, adding that it wasn’t “until the actual week of the debate that I think it really dawned on him that we were going to go again.”
“Again, all those guys had tough questions,” said Kelly. “You’ve got to wind up and do it. That’s what they pay me to do.”
“Did you think he was going to show up last-minute? Like, ‘Surprise!’ ” Fallon responded in his best Trump impression. “Were you prepared if he did show up?”
Kelly said she had gotten a message that afternoon that Trump might be coming after all, so she had a list of questions just in case the billionaire decided to show.
The Fox News anchor also spoke about using video clips of the candidates’ own words in the debate as well, pointing to what she called a “dynamic moment of the debate.”
“It’s much more difficult for them to weasel out of their earlier positions,” she said. “Even in the face of that, they try to tell me they didn’t say the things they said. You just saw it!”
When Fallon asked her about Trump’s chances after the missed debate, Kelly surprisingly answered positively. “I think he thinks it hurt him,” Kelly said. “It was basically his last job interview with the Iowans and he skipped it.”
“He’s electrified the Republican base,” she added. “Don’t count him out.”
Earlier that night on CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360, Trump defended his recent performance and treatment of women when asked by a reporter.
“Nobody has more respect for women than I do,” he said, adding that he has “so many women executives.”
After finishing second in the Iowa caucus and engaging in a Twitter rant about opponent Ted Cruz (who placed first), Trump told Anderson Cooper that he’s focused on New Hampshire.
“I’m into New Hampshire now, it was just one of those things,” he said, in reference to his accusations that Cruz “stole” the caucus results and committed “fraud” for sending out an inaccurate report that Ben Carson was withdrawing from the presidential race.
“I like Ben Carson, and he got pretty roughed up, frankly,” said Trump. Still, he quickly followed that up by saying, “I’m so much into this, into New Hampshire, that I don’t care about that anymore. … this is the place that I’m focused on.”
In the pretaped conversation and surrounded by voters, Trump told Cooper that he feels a “great level of comfort” in the state, which will hold its primary next week. “I have friends who have nice houses and they invite me over to dinner,” he said. “I really enjoyed Iowa, but there’s a different feeling here.”
Trump also said he loves the phrase that Cruz coined about his outburst: Trumpertantrum. “That’s good,” he said. “I’m going to trademark it before he does.”
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Jamie Lee Curtis