Trump says Fox News chief promised him fair cov­er­age

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL - BY JILL COLVIN AND STEVE PEO­PLES

U.S. pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Don­ald Trump’s tur­bu­lent re­la­tion­ship with Fox News showed signs of im­prove­ment Mon­day even as rul­ing Demo­cratic Party front-run­ner Hil­lary Rod­ham Clin­ton seized on the bil­lion­aire busi­ness­man’s clash with the net­work to cast the op­po­si­tion Repub­li­can Party — the party that Trump is hop­ing to rep­re­sent in the pres­i­den­tial elec­tion — as be­ing bad for women.

Trump and Fox News, one of the most pow­er­ful voices in Repub­li­can cir­cles, have been in a bit­ter feud since last Thurs­day’s pres­i­den­tial de­bate. While he leads re­cent polls as pre­ferred can­di­date of the cen­ter-right Repub­li­can Party, the for­mer re­al­ity tele­vi­sion star has drawn heated crit­i­cism from many in his own party for say­ing on CNN that Fox de­bate mod­er­a­tor Megyn Kelly had “blood com­ing out of her eyes, blood com­ing out of her wher­ever.”

Trump in­sisted Mon­day that he never in­tended to say any­thing in­ap­pro­pri­ate about Kelly, one of the most pop­u­lar hosts on the most watched U.S. ca­ble news net­work.

But Trump main­tains he was treated un­fairly in a se­ries of tough ques­tions, in­clud­ing one from Kelly about Trump’s history of neg­a­tive state­ments about women. Kelly asked the real es­tate mogul about his use of words such as “dog,” “fat” and “dis­gust­ing” to in­sult women and whether it re­flected the “tem­per­a­ment of a man we should elect as pres­i­dent.”

He main­tained Mon­day that he never in­tended to say any­thing in­ap­pro­pri­ate about Kelly and said the up­roar over his crit­i­cism was “all fu­eled by the press.”

‘This wasn’t meant to be much

of an in­sult’

“This wasn’t meant to be much of an in­sult,” he told NBC’s “To­day” show.

Trump’s un­con­ven­tional, in­sur­gent cam­paign and his se­ries of in­cen­di­ary com­ments have vaulted him into an early lead in the race for the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion just half a year be­fore the first nom­i­nat­ing con­tests in Iowa and New Hamp­shire. While Trump is con­sid­ered un­likely to win the Repub­li­can pres­i­den­tial nom­i­na­tion, he has en­thralled anti-es­tab­lish­ment con­ser­va­tives with his bel­li­cose state­ments and con­founded party lead­ers try­ing to bring or­der to an un­wieldy field of 17 can­di­dates.

So far, the self-funded Trump has proved to be im­mune from what would be viewed as mis­steps by any other can­di­date. It will be sev­eral days be­fore public polling shows whether he was dam­aged by his caus­tic com­ments about Kelly.

Trump tweeted Mon­day that Fox News chair­man Roger Ailes had reached out to him di­rectly Mon­day, as­sur­ing him he’ll be “treated fairly” by the sta­tion. Trump ap­peared on sev­eral Sun­day morn­ing TV news shows, but not on Fox.

“Roger Ailes just called. He is a great guy & as­sures me that `Trump’ will be treated fairly on (at)FoxNews. His word is al­ways good!” wrote Trump.

In a state­ment Mon­day evening, Ailes de­scribed the con­ver­sa­tion as “blunt but cor­dial” and said the air had been cleared.

“Don­ald Trump and I spoke to­day. We dis­cussed our con­cerns, and I again ex­pressed my con­fi­dence in Megyn Kelly,” Ailes said, de­scrib­ing Kelly as “a bril­liant jour­nal­ist” whom he sup­ports “100 per­cent.”

Ailes added that he as­sured Trump “that we will con­tinue to cover this cam­paign with fair­ness & bal­ance.”

‘I cer­tainly will not apol­o­gize

for do­ing good jour­nal­ism’

Ad­dress­ing what she re­ferred to as the “dustup” for the first time on her show Mon­day night, Kelly de­fended what she de­scribed as a “tough but fair ques­tion” dur­ing the de­bate.

“We agree to dis­agree,” she said at the open­ing of her show, adding that she had de­cided not to re­spond to per­sonal at­tacks he’d lodged against her.

“Trump, who is the front-run­ner, will not apol­o­gize. And I cer­tainly will not apol­o­gize for do­ing good jour­nal­ism,” she said. “So I’ll con­tinue do­ing my job with­out fear or fa­vor. And Mr. Trump, I ex­pect, will con­tinue with what has been a suc­cess­ful cam­paign thus far.”

Trump is sched­uled to re­turn to Fox News on Tues­day, with ap­pear­ances on two of the net­work’s shows, “Fox & Friends” and “Han­nity,” a Fox News spokes­woman said.

Trump’s latest re­marks have un­nerved some in a Repub­li­can Party that has long wres­tled with the public per­cep­tion that it is wag­ing a “war on women” and has strug­gled to con­vince more women that it’s on their side.

Speak­ing pub­licly for the first time since the Repub­li­can de­bate, Clin­ton on Mon­day seized on Trump’s com­ments about Kelly. She said his re­marks should not over­shadow the rest of the Repub­li­can can­di­dates’ poli­cies deal­ing with women.

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