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Ratings Gold? Fox To Air Megyn Kelly's Interview With Trump Tonight

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Tonight, Fox News will air an interview with Donald Trump. What makes that interesting is who is interviewing him - Megyn Kelly, the network star who Trump has gone after publicly for months. In case you need a reminder, here's one of highlights - it may be more accurate to call it a lowlight - of the Donald Trump-Megyn Kelly spat.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "CNN TONIGHT")

DONALD TRUMP: I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her. I don't think she's very good. I think she's highly overrated. She gets out, and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. And, you know, you could see blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever.

KELLY: Many thought that was a step too far. Megyn Kelly herself demanded an apology. And now it seems everyone has come around. Trump and Kelly sat down for a one-on-one, and it will air tonight. Here with a preview is Tucker Carlson. He is editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller, also co-host of the Fox News show "Fox & Friends Weekend." Good morning. Thanks for stopping by.

TUCKER CARLSON: Good morning. My pleasure.

KELLY: Take us on a quick stroll, if you would, through the tortured history of Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump. Why the personal animosity, do you think?

CARLSON: Well, it all began during the first debate held by Fox, during which Trump objected to a question Megyn Kelly asked him. Pretty obvious question - what about your record of nasty and vulgar remarks about women? And he believed it was an unfair question. His position was - I've attacked certain women - doesn't mean I'm attacking all women. And then sort of kept that going in the subsequent days, attacking Megyn Kelly as a journalist, her integrity as a person, and then saying pretty over-the-top, vulgar things like the one you just played.

KELLY: Stay with the attacking women theme - we hear that Democrats are planning a new round of ads this week attacking Trump for his comments about women. If you're Megyn Kelly, how do you bring the issue up? And what would you want to know?

CARLSON: Well, I mean, you'd want to know whether this reveals a larger attitude about - again - not just individual woman, but about all women. And, you know, it was one of those questions that was inevitable. I think it was fair.

KELLY: What would you ask if you were in her seat tonight?

CARLSON: If I were asking...

KELLY: Yeah.

CARLSON: ...Tonight?

CARLSON: I would say, you know, is this revealing of some problem that you have with women? - A. B, why the vulgarity? I mean, you can certainly, you know, call into question someone's work product. But why attack that person, you know, on a - attack that person's appearance, for example? Is that becoming of a presidential candidate? I mean, that seems like an obvious and totally within-bounds question.

I mean, the tough thing for journalists confronting Trump or any other candidate is, you know, how do you kind of keep yourself out of it? And I think that Megyn Kelly wanted to keep herself out of it. She wanted to ask a question. She didn't want this to become about her and Trump. And it did. And that, you know, makes it tough.

KELLY: OK. We'll see how that unfolds tonight. We do have one clip of the interview that will air tonight. Here's Donald Trump.

(SOUNDBITE OF TV SHOW, "MEGYN KELLY PRESENTS")

TRUMP: I've been saying during this whole campaign that I'm a counterpuncher. You understand that. I'm responding. Now, I then respond to times, maybe, ten. I don't know. I mean, I respond pretty strongly. But in just about all cases, I've been responding to what they did to me.

KELLY: Now, that's Trump playing defense there, not something we're accustomed to. What do you make of that, Tucker Carlson?

CARLSON: Right. I mean, a little striking. I mean, you don't - you know, you don't normally see this. I don't think we've ever seen it in a presidential campaign, where the candidate just attacks a journalist by name and then keeps going. Even now, it's hard to see what he got out of that. I mean, did he accrue votes because of that? You know, it's hard to believe he did. He pulled himself out of a subsequent debate that we held because Megyn Kelly was participating. She didn't punch back, really.

KELLY: Right.

CARLSON: I mean, she sort of maintained her position, I think, admirably as a journalist throughout this whole thing. But - so if you were advising Trump, you would never advise him to do something like this. It does seem like a cul-de-sac.

KELLY: Just a couple seconds left, but quickly - how do you rate the chances that tonight, we're actually going to learn anything new about Trump's policy and how he'll govern? Or is it more about putting on a show?

CARLSON: Oh, I think, you know, you always, when you listen to a candidate speak at length (laughter), learn about what he's going to do because you learn about him.

KELLY: That's Tucker Carlson. Thanks so much.

CARLSON: Thanks.

KELLY: Fox News contributor and editor-in-chief of The Daily Caller. And to answer the truly burning question I know is on your mind, no, he's not wearing a bowtie in our studio this morning. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.