The book hit shelves on Tuesday, and passages have become available as reviews made headlines last week. But hearing Kelly recount the details of Trump’s personal treatment of her and his campaign’s relentless attacks throughout the race is nothing short of horrifying.
Kelly told CNN host Anderson Cooper in an interview how a Fox News executive phoned Michael Cohen, Trump’s top lawyer, after he retweeted a Twitter user’s message, “Let’s gut her,” in reference to Kelly.
Fox executive vice president Bill Shine told Cohen, “You’ve got to stop this,” Kelly recalled. “Like, we understand you are angry, but this is ― you know, she’s got little three kids, she’s walking around New York, really ― and he didn’t much care,” Kelly said. “And what Bill Shine said to Cohen was, ‘Let me put it to you in terms you can understand. If Megyn Kelly gets killed, it’s not going help your candidate.’”
Kelly also described how Trump called her a “disgrace” when he phoned to complain about a segment she did on his first divorce, just days before the first Republican primary debate in which she asked him about his treatment of women. He threatened to unleash his “beautiful Twitter” on her, she said.
During the debate, Trump made a “veiled threat,” she said.
“I’ve been very nice to you, although I could probably maybe not be based on the way you’ve treated me, but I wouldn’t do that,” Trump told her during the debate.
Less than 24 hours later, Trump unleashed his infamous “blood coming out of her wherever” comments.
“Just things would never be the same again,” Kelly said. “We had security guards the whole year. I mean, the threat level just got so high that it was impossible not to take that seriously.”
Kelly has faced criticism for withholding her stories until after the election. When asked why she didn’t say something earlier, Kelly said she didn’t want to be the story during the campaign. She added that it would have made no difference in the public’s perception of Trump.
“This isn’t like someone came to me and said, ‘I want to tell you something that happened between me and Donald Trump,’” Kelly said. “This is me. You know, we’re under no obligation to report our own personal experiences just because we also happen to be journalists. In that regard, we’re sort of half-private citizen, where it’s up to us whether we want to reveal our personal stories.”