When Trump gives you lemons, make ratings lemonade. Here’s Kelly offering viewers a sip ahead of her Fox network special two weeks from now [correction: the special will air on May 17th]. The funniest thing in the world will come later this year when she inevitably ends up covering whatever the day’s unflattering Trump news happens to be and Trump, just as inevitably, starts laying into her on Twitter again. He practically warns her to expect it, telling her at one point of the clip that “this” — i.e. animosity — “could happen again with us.” That’s because, I think, Trump sees Kelly’s interview request as an olive branch; he actually described it yesterday as an attempt on her part to “make peace.” I doubt that’s how Kelly would describe it, though. She’d say that she’s simply out to get a story. It’s not up to her to “make peace” because she’s not at war. Trump is a newsworthy interview so she felt obliged to try, and that’s that. That misunderstanding will lead to new hostilities: When Kelly covers news that’s bad for Trump on her Fox News going forward, she’ll see it as just another case of chasing a newsworthy angle while Trump will see it as her violating their “peace” treaty and will counterattack. But oh well. She got what she wanted from him, a scoop for her special. And maybe a few weeks’ lull in death threats on social media? Or is that too much to hope for?
There’s one interesting moment here despite the brevity of the clip. That’s when Trump admits he couldn’t have reached out to someone who’d been attacking him the way Kelly had reached out to him. Without that admission, I’d assume his newfound “respect” for her is really just the ego gratification he got from “winning” by forcing Kelly to come crawling to him for an interview. He berated her for months and she came begging anyway. Again, Kelly would call that good journalism — you’ve got to go get the story even if the subject disdains you — but Trump, who seems to view all of life as binary winning/losing scenarios, surely sees it as a “win.” The admission that he respects her for doing something he’s incapable of doing himself is quite un-Trump-y, though. It’s practically an admission of a character flaw. Hidden depths? The other interesting admission comes later when Kelly notes that she and Trump didn’t discuss “anything that had happened between the two of us.” They didn’t?! What the hell are we watching this interview for, then? Is Trump’s answer about how yuge his plans are for building a border wall going to be somehow more interesting the 8,000th time around just because Megyn Kelly’s asking him about it?
Anyway, two clips for you, one of Kelly and Trump and the other of Trump’s absurd interview this morning with Chris Cuomo of CNN, in which he demanded to know why Cuomo didn’t open the segment by congratulating him on winning the nomination. I can almost understand his position there. Given the amount of slobbering he receives on Fox News from hosts not named “Kelly” or “Baier,” you can see how he’d come to expect cable-news hosts saluting him before asking questions.