During an interview on Fox News interview on Tuesday night, Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich accused host Megyn Kelly of being “fascinated with sex.” The reason? Kelly had the gall to bring up the numerous sexual assault allegations that have recently emerged against Donald Trump.
“You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy,” Gingrich said.
“I’m not fascinated by sex,” Kelly replied, “but I am fascinated by the protection of women and what we are getting in the oval office.”
Hours after that interview aired, Gingrich was in attendance at the grand opening of Trump’s new Washington, D.C. hotel on Wednesday morning.
During his speech, Trump appeared to break from his prepared remarks to congratulate Newt for “an amazing interview.”
“By the way, congratulations, Newt, on last night. That was an amazing interview,” Trump said. “We don’t play games Newt, right? We don’t play games.”
Trump is a big fan of Newt’s performance, but Katie Packer, deputy campaign manager for Mitt Romney’s 2012 presidential run, pointed out why many were horrified by Newt’s attempt to shame Kelly for raising the issue of Trump’s alleged mistreatment of women.
“[I]t’s not about sex or how these women look,” Packer tweeted, referencing Trump’s repeated attacks on his accusers’ looks. “It’s about Power and men like that who take what they want when they want it. It’s not ok.”
Indeed, research indicates sexual assault is often about power, not sex.
Trump and Kelly have a long history. During his campaign, Trump has called her a “bimbo” and said Kelly is “crazy.” After Kelly asked Trump a question about his history of sexist comments during the first Republican presidential debate in August 2015, Trump infamously said she must’ve done so because she had “blood coming out of her whatever.”
The two seemed to arrive at a truce of sorts after Kelly interviewed Trump for the launch of her new Fox show in May. But Trump’s endorsement of Newt’s attack on her suggests a rift remains.