MEGYN Kelly has blamed media giants, including CNN, for playing a role in causing the deadly US Capitol riot "because they didn't cover Trump fairly".
The former Fox News host said "part of the reason" thousands of rioters stormed the building, attacked police, and destroyed property, on January 6, "is because there had been a complete lack of trust in the media".
"People don’t know where to turn for true information, they don’t trust the media anymore. And it’s a major problem," Kelly said in an interview with BBC Newsnight Saturday.
"They hated him so much, they checked their objectivity, and it wasn’t just CNN, all of them did. They just couldn’t check their own personal feelings about him."
According to Kelly, Donald Trump "sort of set a trap (for media) that walked right into and it worked really well".
"The media destroyed itself, but Trump certainly helped," she said.
Kelly said she noticed a shift in CNN's initial coverage of Trump to how it ensued after he won the election.
"I remember listening to all of [Trump's] disparaging comments about CNN when he first became a national figure as a presidential candidate, and I watched a lot of CNN even though I was on Fox. And I was like this is unfair. CNN may be a little boring, but it’s fair and it’s factual. It’s not biased against Trump. Then they spent the next four years proving him right – proving me wrong," she said.
Kelly, who left Fox News in 2014, was slammed online for her comments.
One Twitter user said only Trump was behind the riot which left five people dead.
"Trump led to the storming of the Capitol. Period. This is dangerous and false from Kelly, and I can’t believe the BBC is reporting it as if there’s a germ of truth to it," one Twitter user said.
"No @megynkelly actually, he sucked so bad and veered so far from the norms of legal, democratic governance that it was difficult for media to report on him even halfway honestly without sounding like they had a vendetta against the guy," another Twitter user hit back.
Kelly and Trump have had a complicated relationship since he launched his campaign for the presidency.
In 2015, Trump publicly criticized the anchor after she questioned him during a presidential debate, telling CNN, “There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”
Following the backlash over his remark, Trump tweeted that he was referring to Kelly's nose. His campaign also issued a statement, claiming Trump said "whatever" instead of "wherever," while again repeating that the reference was to her nose.
Calling in to CNN for a 30-minute interview with Don Lemon, Trump hurled insults at Kelly, calling her a "lightweight," and bashed her co-moderators, Chris Wallace and Bret Baier, as well as other on-air talent.
He was responding to Kelly's question about his history of making derogatory statements about women.
"I just don't respect her as a journalist," Trump said of Kelly. "I have no respect for her. I don't think she's very good. I think she's highly overrated."
Kelly later said in an interview with Charlie Rose that neither she nor Fox News wanted “any sort of war” with Trump.
“He was obviously upset. That’s fine. He’s running for president, it’s not a fun business, there’s going to be ups and downs, and I know he considered that a down,” she said.
“So we just wanted to forge forward and try to put it behind us, not pour any more fuel on that fire.”
Kelly later did a one-on-one interview with Trump.
“In April there was a lull in the tweet storm, and I seized on the opportunity,” Kelly told ABC News in 2016. “I had been looking for months for just the right window to go in there. But every time I thought I was there, he’d start up again, whether it was boycotting the second Fox News debate or calling me crazy and sick after the third debate.”
During the interview, Trump said he thought Kelly’s question about his comments about women “was unfair” but appeared to understand her decision to ask it.
“I don’t really blame you, because you’re doing your thing. But from my standpoint, I don’t have to like it,” he said.
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