Saturday will mark one year since the Republican presidential debate on Fox News Channel when Megyn Kelly asked Donald Trump about calling women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals.” In the 363 days since, Trump dominated the field and won the GOP nomination. But he’s still talking about Megyn Kelly. Why?
“What is he doing relitigating every controversy from the primary season,” Kelly herself asked
in a segment on The Kelly File Wednesday night, at one point even putting her head in her hands. “Must he help them? Must he help them so generously every day?”
The Fox News segment followed a campaign rally in Florida where Trump revisited that very first debate—and comments he made about Kelly’s question about women the next day, when he told CNN’s Don Lemon that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes. Or blood coming out of her wherever.”
Nearly a year later, Trump broke away from Hillary Clinton to try once again to explain what he meant. As Yahoo reports:
“I meant her nose or her ears or her mouth,” Trump said at the event in Daytona Beach. “But these people are perverted and they thought I was talking about somewhere else. And I cut [the comment] short because I was talking about taxes or economic development. … I wanted to get back on the subject.”
Thursday morning on CBS This Morning, Norah O’Donnell asked Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort why Trump can’t seem to stay on message–or remain focused on Hillary Clinton, instead of Megyn Kelly or the Khan family:
NORAH O’DONNELL: In that same rally, when he got on-message, hitting the Obama administration on that point, he also went off-message and sort of re-hashed some old controversies, including the split with Fox News Host Megyn Kelley. I mean, he went back to talking about the blood coming out of her whatever. Was it helpful, do you think, for Mr. Trump yesterday to clarify which part of her body he meant when he said that?
MANAFORT: Look, there’s a responsibility on both parts. The media and the campaigns. I mean, everybody understood what the real messages were in that speech. He was talking about the Iranian situation, he was talking about the cash, he was talking about the decisions…
O’DONNELL: I mean, but do you watch that speech and go, ‘oh, no! the headline was going to be on the 400 million and the attack, why did he have to go there?’ why do you have to freelance on these issues and re-hash these old controversies?
MANAFORT: We feel confident- the issues are being heard at the local levels. And that’s not getting reported at the national levels, but there’s also local media coverage too.