Trump 'obsessed' with journalist
20 March 2016, 10:16
New York - Fox News renewed its bitter dispute with Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, accusing him of harbouring a "sick obsession" with prominent news anchor Megyn Kelly and waging a campaign of crude verbal abuse against her.
The strongly worded riposte is the latest episode in a simmering, months-long feud between the influential television channel and Trump, who took time out of his schedule on Thursday to fire off three tweets calling out "crazy" Kelly, America's most-watched female news anchor.
"Donald Trump's vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land," Fox News said in a statement on Friday.
"Megyn is an exemplary journalist and one of the leading anchors in America - we're extremely proud of her phenomenal work and continue to fully support her throughout every day of Trump's endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults."
The row ignited in August, when Kelly moderated the first debate of the presidential campaign cycle.
The billionaire Trump, who is in pole position for the Republican nomination for the White House, reacted to tough questioning from Kelly by insinuating she treated him unfairly only because she was menstruating.
"She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions," Trump told CNN after the debate. "You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever."
Trump this week again trained his sights on Kelly, whose prime-time show The Kelly File is the second-most watched programme on American cable TV news.
"Highly overrated & crazy @megynkelly is always complaining about Trump and yet she devotes her shows to me. Focus on others Megyn!" he tweeted.
Trump, who has called for Muslims to be banned from entering the United States and painted Mexican migrants as rapists, regularly posts messages from others who denigrate Kelly, a former corporate litigator who joined Fox in 2004 as a television reporter.
She went on to rise rapidly through the ranks at the station thanks to her good looks, fierce ambition and clear intelligence.
"As the mother of three young children, with a successful law career and the second highest rated show in cable news, it's especially deplorable for her to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job," Fox News said.