Ever since the Republican debate on Fox News, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump has accused the cable news channel of a War on Trump. He alleged that the moderators, Megyn Kelly, Chris Wallace, and Bret Baier, asked questions that unfairly targeted him. The mostly one-sided feud escalated on Friday when Trump blasted Megyn Kelly on CNN Tonight with Don Lemon and said she had blood coming out of her “wherever.” While the remark was initially interpreted as meaning that Kelly was on her period, Trump later clarified and said he meant blood was coming from her nose.
Kelly quickly addressed the topic on her show, the Kelly File, and refused to be a part of the feud. Days later, she announced that she would be going on vacation. While it had been announced and pre-scheduled, many thought it was more than a coincidence that Kelly was taking a vacation the same time reports indicated that Fox News President Roger Ailes had struck a truce with the real estate mogul.
While many have attempted to point out that the vacation was pre-scheduled, the narrative seemed to stick that Trump’s peace agreement with Ailes had effectively sidelined one of the network’s biggest stars. The truce was also out of the ordinary for the network which typically pushes back very hard on any kind of criticism and Ailes is known for his loyalty to on-air personalities and vice versa.
However, the cable news network is now wading into the feud and the Kelly Vacationgate conspiracy theories. Late Friday night, a network spokesperson released the following statement:
“The conspiracy theories about Megyn Kelly’s vacation rank up there with UFO’s, the moon landing and Elvis being alive. Megyn is on a pre-planned, 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.’”
Trump has attempted to imply that he was the reason for the vacation and add fire to the rumors. Presumably with that in mind, the network is taking steps to fire back at the Donald.