Newt Gingrich Refuses to Discuss His Attack on Megyn Kelly

“It speaks for itself,” he said at Trump’s DC hotel the day after.

Jonathan Ernst/ZUMA

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On Tuesday night, Newt Gingrich, the Republican who was forced to resign as House speaker in the late ’90s and who now is a top Donald Trump surrogate, got into a row with Fox News host Megyn Kelly. Toward the end of a segment on the presidential election, the often combative Gingrich started grousing about the media paying too much attention to all the women who have accused Trump of sexual assault (after a video emerged of Trump bragging about committing sexual assault). Kelly defended the media’s handling of this story: “We have to cover that story, sir.” What about a Hillary Clinton speech in which she referred to open borders? Gingrich retorted. “That is worth covering,” Kelly said.

Gingrich then angrily exploded: “Do you want to go back to the tapes of your shows recently? You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy. That’s what I get out of watching you tonight.” Kelly shot back: “I am not fascinated by sex. But I am fascinated by the protection of women.” Gingrich became irate and dared Kelly to say “Bill Clinton” and “sexual predator.” She did not take the bait, and shortly after that, Kelly said goodbye to Gingrich and asked him to “spend some time” working on his “anger issues.”

The exchange blew up Twitter and was the talk of the politerati. On Wednesday morning, as Trump was holding an event in Washington, DC, to promote his new hotel, with Gingrich one of the few notable GOPers in attendance, he congratulated Gingrich for tangling with Kelly (with whom Trump once feuded).

Following the ribbon-cutting ceremony in the hotel lobby, Mother Jones asked Gingrich about his emotional face-off with Kelly. “Do you really think that Megyn Kelly was overly fascinated with sex by asking about [the sexual-assault accusations regarding Trump]?” we inquired. Waving his hand, Gingrich replied, “I’m not going to talk about that.”

We followed up: “But given that you guys impeached a president” about a matter involving sex—Gingrich interrupted, “It speaks for itself. It speaks for itself.” He and his (third) wife then walked away to eat lunch at the hotel restaurant.

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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