In a wide-ranging interview–and cover story–in The Hollywood Reporter, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump raves about Fox News hosts Bill O’Reilly (Trump appeared on The O’Reilly Factor Tuesday night) and Sean Hannity, but doubts he’ll ever appear on The Kelly File with Megyn Kelly:
Will you ever be on Kelly’s show?
Unlikely, but it could happen. They wanted me to do her show, but I’m not looking to do that. I know it’s good show business, I know it’s good for ratings, but that doesn’t matter. I did Sean Hannity’s show the other night — it’s the highest-rated show he’s ever had [2.2 million viewers, his highest at 10 p.m.]. And he has been such a gentleman to me. Bill O’Reilly has been so great. He’s a tough cookie, and he’s smart, but he’s been so fair. So I don’t know.
Actually, Hannity’s highest rated show pre-dates the Trump campaign; it was in November during coverage of Ferguson. According to Nielsen, the Trump interview wasn’t even Hannity’s highest of the year.
Trump said he’s been watching a lot of cable news–“Fox and CNN and even MSNBC, which is doing better because they’re covering me all the time”–but didn’t precisely answer whether he thought Fox News was “critical” to his campaign for the White House:
Do you need Fox News to win the nomination?
I don’t know. It’s a great question. I know that CNN has been wild about the whole Trump thing, whatever that is, and MSNBC has been doing it, and Meet the Press and George Stephanopoulos and Face the Nation — I’ve been doing all of them. I don’t know what has caused this whole thing, but certainly Fox is very important.