“My life was blown up for nine months,” said Kelly in the interview for the Frontline documentary America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump, clips of which were released Friday. “It was scary at times and Breitbart kept lighting the fire over and over. I had, and have, three really young kids. And the security threats were escalating.”
Kelly added: “We were doing everything in our power to convey to them they needed to stop. It was one debate question, Just one debate question. He handled it fine. So get off of it. They couldn’t have cared less.”
In a clip from the documentary, former Breitbart chairman and ex-Trump chief strategist Steve Bannon said that Breitbart went “right after Megyn Kelly” following the debate. “We’re gonna cull her out from the herd and just hit her nonstop,” Bannon recalled. “That’s when all war broke out.”
Bannon claimed that former Fox News chairman Roger Ailes called him to ask him to stop the attacks on Kelly. “I said, ‘We’re not backing off, we’re going to put more stories up tomorrow,’” said Bannon.
Ultimately, according to the documentary, Ailes sided with Trump and Breitbart over Kelly because he did not want to alienate Fox News’ right-wing viewers. “Roger felt he had to keep that Breitbart wing of the viewership on board, that they were at risk thanks to Trump’s attacks on me and Fox,” said Kelly.
Kelly said that the Breitbart vitriol directed at her was more hurtful than Trump’s. She felt that Trump wasn’t genuinely attacking her, rather using her for further notoriety.
“I think Trump recognized it was a good storyline and he kept fuel going under that fire,” said Kelly. “I don’t think Trump is a truly bad man … I think he’s a savvy politician who knows what to do and what to say to get elected.”
America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump airs on PBS on January 13 and 14.
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