Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said Monday that thanks to the rating boost he says he’s given her, Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly is “hotter now than ever before” and should give him “at least half” of her salary in return.
CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked Trump if he thought it was presidential to tweet critiques of the Fox News host. Last week, Trump called her “crazy,” prompting the network to respond in a statement saying that the real estate mogul had an “extreme sick obsession” with Kelly.
Trump told Blitzer that Kelly puts him on her show “every night,” and that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes told Trump that he wanted him to do a special where Kelly interviewed him. He then argued that Kelly was the one with an obsession.
“You’re going to get great ratings, what do I get out of it? They want a primetime special I said, ‘No, I won’t do it.’ So don’t tell me about obsession. She should do somebody else,” Trump said. “And I’m telling you, if she didn’t do me, watch what happens to her. Watch. Now, in the meantime, she’s benefited greatly. She’s hotter now than ever before because of me. She should give me at least half of her salary.”
Blitzer chuckled at that last remark while Trump smirked.
Ailes said in a statement to The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday that the network would “welcome having” Trump.
“Of course we would welcome having Trump on the air because we put the public’s right to know above all else,” Ailes said. “Megyn was willing to conduct an interview with him for the broadcast special and we thought Trump would be willing to answer tough, but fair questions — apparently that’s not the case.”
Neither Kelly nor Bill Geddie, the executive producer of the FOX broadcast special, directly asked Trump to do a one hour interview, according to a source familiar with the special. Nielsen ratings show that Kelly’s program has maintained its position as the second highest rated show in cable news since its debut in October 2013.