NEW YORK — Fox News chief Roger Ailes said Tuesday that Donald Trump owes the network’s Megyn Kelly an apology for an unprovoked Twitter attack that “is as unacceptable as it is disturbing.”

The Republican presidential front-runner-turned-TV-critic had welcomed Kelly back from a vacation Monday night by tweeting that he liked her show better while she was away. Trump said Kelly “must have had a terrible vacation” because “she’s really off her game.” He retweeted a message that referred to her as a bimbo.

“Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise,” said Ailes. “I could not be more proud of Megyn for her professionalism and class in the face of all of Mr. Trump’s verbal assaults.”

Trump has been attacking Kelly ever since her tough questioning of him during the first Republican presidential debate, seen by 24 million people on Fox on Aug. 6. A day after the debate, he said Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.”

That led to a private, clear-the-air conversation between Ailes and Trump two weeks ago, but that clearly hasn’t led to peace.

In his tweets, Trump repeated his contention that Kelly, one of the network’s biggest stars, was sent on an unplanned vacation that ended Monday. Fox said her time off had been scheduled long before the debate. Trump also tweeted that Kelly was afraid to confront a guest, Dr. Cornel West, and that she had “no clue” on immigration.

Ailes again backed Kelly for her questioning during the debate, which he said was tough but fair.

“Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should,” Ailes said.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.