Fox News CEO and Chairman Roger Ailes shot back at Donald Trump on Tuesday, saying the reality TV star should apologize for renewing his attack on Fox News host and debate moderator Megyn Kelly.
"Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing," Ailes said in a statement. "Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should."
Trump initially took aim at Kelly after the Republican presidential debate, during which Kelly asked the businessman about past disparaging remarks he’d made about women. Trump’s tantrum culminated in a CNN appearance, during which the presidential candidate said Kelly had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever" during the debate. Trump seemed to have made peace with the network after he and Ailes spoke by phone.
But Trump reignited the feud after Kelly returned from vacation on Monday. He took to Twitter to say Kelly was "off her game" and to retweet users who called the host a "bimbo" and remarked on her looks.
Ailes staunchly defended Kelly as a journalist, and said her line of questioning at the GOP presidential debate was "tough but fair":
Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise. I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults. Her questioning of Mr. Trump at the debate was tough but fair, and I fully support her as she continues to ask the probing and challenging questions that all presidential candidates may find difficult to answer. ...
We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we’re certainly not going to start now. All of our journalists will continue to report in the fair and balanced way that has made FOX News Channel the number one news network in the industry.