Getty Images, AP Photo
Getty Images, AP Photo
Presidential candidate Donald Trump denies trying to "woo" Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly, with whom he clashed at the first Republican national debate last summer and who he insulted publicly for asking him what he claimed were "unfair" questions.
Kelly, 45, told Vanity Fair in a recent interview that the business mogul, who is currently leading in GOP polls, used to contact her to update her about his professional life and also to compliment her own work before he announced his candidacy last June.
"He would send me press clippings about me that he would just sign 'Donald Trump,'" Kelly said. "And he called from time to time to compliment a segment. I didn't know why he was doing that. And then when he announced that he was running for president, it became more clear. But I can't be wooed. I was never going to love him, and I was never going to hate him."
Trump, 69, denied her claims, telling The Hill this week that his campaign does send TV anchors polling data and adding, "The last person in the world I would try to woo is Megyn Kelly."
"I'm not sure she can be fair and balanced because she has a thing with Donald Trump," he said.
Kelly has not responded to his remarks. She has interviewed Trump several times in the past and their exchanges have appeared pleasant—she even got to touch his hair on the air in 2011.
Kelly was one of the moderators at the first Republican presidential debate and had asked Trump about past comments he had allegedly made about women, which had been perceived as sexist.
"You've called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals--" she began.
"Only Rosie O'Donnell," Trump said.
"For the record, it was well beyond Rosie O'Donnell," she said.
"Yes, I'm sure it was," Trump replied.
"Your Twitter account has several disparaging comments about women's looks," Kelly continued. "You once told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees. Does that sound to you like the temperament of a man we should elect as president, and how will you answer the charge from Hillary Clinton, who was likely to be the Democratic nominee, that you are part of the war on women?"
"I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct," Trump replied. "I've been challenged by so many people, and I don't frankly have time for total political correctness."
He later told CNN Kelly asked him "unfair" questions. In another CNN interview, the presidential candidate talked about her again, saying, "I don't have a lot of respect for Megyn Kelly—she's a lightweight...She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions and, you know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
His comments sparked controversy and speculation he was talking about menstruation, which he denied.
"Mr. Trump made Megyn Kelly look really bad—she was a mess with her anger and totally caught off guard," his campaign office said in a statement. "Mr. Trump said 'blood was coming out of her eyes and whatever,' meaning nose, but wanted to move on to more important topics. Only a deviant would think anything else."
Trump continued to insult Kelly months after the debate, calling her the "most overrated anchor" in December. She did not respond.
In her interview with Vanity Fair, Kelly named Oprah Winfrey as her role model, saying, "She never wallowed in any sort of victimhood...She didn't play the gender card and she didn't play the race card."
"She was just so good we couldn't ignore her. That's my example...Just get to the table and then do better than everybody else," she added. "But every so often, as all [women] know, you have to stop and slap somebody around a little bit who doesn't understand that we are actually equals and not second-class citizens."