Megyn Kelly: Donald Trump knew her debate question on women was coming

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Fox News moderators from left, Chris Wallace, Megyn Kelly and Bret Baier speak to the camera before the first GOP presidential debate in August 2015, held in Cleveland. AP/Andrew Harnik

Anyone who experienced a Donald Trump rally during the campaign understands that the new president-elect has little use for the press – except as a foil.

Even so, in every administration, certain journalists eventually emerge as White House favorites. We’re pretty certain that Megyn Kelly of Fox News won’t be one of them. Especially now. The New York Times has a review of her new memoir, “Settle for More.”logo-all

In it, she recounts her clashes with Trump. And lets it be known that, just like Donna Brazile passed on questions to Democrat Hillary Clinton, the Republican presidential candidate was spoon-fed pre-debate information:

 Then, the day before the first presidential debate, Mr. Trump was in a lather again, Ms. Kelly writes. He called Fox executives, saying he’d heard that her first question “was a very pointed question directed at him.” This disconcerted her, because it was true: It was about his history of using disparaging language about women.

And then there’s this bizarre passage:

… On the day of the debate, Ms. Kelly writes, she woke up feeling great. Then an overzealous, suspiciously enthusiastic driver picked her up to take her to the convention center. He insisted on getting her coffee, though she’d repeatedly declined his offer. Once it was in her hand, she drank it. And within 15 minutes, she was violently ill, vomiting so uncontrollably that it was unclear if she’d be able to go on and help moderate that evening. It was so bad that she kept a trash pail beneath her desk throughout the debate, just in case.

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Republicans had a dream night Tuesday as voters handed their party control of the White House and both chambers of Congress.

The night’s winners have framed the results as a mandate, but the right-leaning Washington Examiner reports that having Donald Trump in the White House could drive a new kind of wedge into the party.

The news site predicts the conservative groups such as Heritage Action and the Club for Growth that made names for themselves by opposing Barack Obama’s agenda will lose power under Trump, who has broken with the Reagan-era orthodoxy of the last three decades to push for things like substantial infrastructure spending:

Because of sharp grassroots anger at the so-called Republican establishment, conservative groups also have had an easy time convincing enough GOP members to kill legislation pushed by their party leaders in Congress — especially if the intent was to compromise with Democrats and Obama.

With Trump in the White House, the groups are going to have a tougher time motivating Republicans to hold the line on spending, debt and other conservative third rails.

Conservative organizations also could face pressure to fall in line behind Trump, so as not to undermine his presidency and sew the kind of disunity and disapproval of the GOP that might aid Democrats in the 2018 midterm elections.

Which is one reason why Washington lobbying firms are sudden a booming business, according to the New York Times:

Prominent Washington lobbyists also said that Mr. Trump would arrive in the capital with a much smaller contingent of veteran policy advisers than Hillary Clinton would have brought — and they see that relative inexperience as an opening. So they are prepared to draft legislation and regulations to quietly pass to allies on Capitol Hill and in the White House.

 

It is an opportunity that comes after a period of decline in lobbying revenues for many major firms. Total lobbying spending in Washington, after climbing consistently for nearly two decades began to dip in 2011, as congressional action slowed with divided government.

 

“Trump’s management style and policy approach to the campaign implies he is going to set big broad ‘beautiful’ direction and the elected lawmakers will take significant cuts at trying to flesh it out and reflect his will,” said Bruce P. Mehlman, the founder of Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas, which has more than 70 clients ranging from Adobe, the software company, to Walmart.

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That election night party held by Republicans in Buckhead on Tuesday wasn’t all peaches and cream. 11Alive is pointing to a profanity-heavy video that shows Spiro Amburn, chief of staff to state House Speaker David Ralston, tearing into Brad Hughes,  political director for the Georgia GOP. Amburn was angry that his boss hadn’t been invited to join Johnny Isakson on stage, in a celebration of the U.S. Senator’s victory.

Here’s a statement sent to us by Kaleb McMichen, spokesman for Ralston:

“This is simply a case of political adversaries using a secretly-recorded video to tell a one-sided version of a story. Sadly, this is what people resort to in attempting to score political points. 

 

That said, Mr. Amburn passed along the following statement that he asked me to share with you:

 

“I was frustrated with certain members of the state GOP staff for failing to facilitate the Speaker of the House in the victory program for his friend Senator Johnny Isakson, which I felt was unacceptable.  I regret and apologize for using foul language in the heat of the moment.”

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State Sen. William Ligon, a favorite of the Senate’s conservative wing, was ousted from his position as Senate Majority Caucus Chair in a vote on Thursday. The rest of the GOP slate remained unchanged. One tipster had this observation: “Guess the governor still has stroke in the Senate GOP caucus.”

The Brunswick Republican was one of the chief supporters of the “religious liberty” measure that Gov. Nathan Deal vetoed earlier this year.

Another change that may be in the works: Watch to see if state Sen. Josh McKoon, R-Columbus, another backer of “religious liberty” legislation, retains his chairmanship of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

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Jane Fonda’s take on Donald Trump’s election: “I feel like I was hit by a truck.” Check out our AJC colleague Jill Vejnoska’s story for more on the Democratic fallout.

 


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