Fox News Reportedly Gave Trump Campaign 2016 Debate Questions In Advance
According to The New Yorker, two Fox insiders and one other person close to Trump told the publication that they “believe that former [Fox News Chairman Roger] Ailes informed the Trump campaign” about a question from Megyn Kelly during the first Republican primary debate in August 2015.
Kelly, who at the time still worked for Fox News, asked then-candidate Trump a question on his history of making derogatory remarks about women. The New Yorker’s Jane Mayer reported that her pair of sources claim “they know of the tipoff from a purported eyewitness” and added that a former Trump 2016 campaign aide alleged a “Fox contact gave him advance notice of a different debate question.” This question reportedly was one asked to all Republican candidates and inquired if they would vow to support the eventual GOP nominee for president. Trump was the only candidate to refuse to do so.
Trump at first answered the first question about his misogynistic comments by joking that he had only directed insults like “fat pig,” “dog” and “slob” at longtime rival Rosie O’Donnell. After Kelly noted he had used terms like this to refer to many other women as well, Trump answered the question by blasting the culture of “political correctness” in the U.S.
Kelly has responded to the accusations by saying she does not believe Trump ever received questions in advance, and a Fox News spokesperson also denied this claim.
Shortly after that first Republican debate, Trump famously tweeted an offensive comment about Kelly and her physical appearance and was subsequently rebuked by many people.
Similar accusations of providing debate questions in advance were leveled in 2016 at former Democratic National Committee Chair Donna Brazile, who reportedly gave Hillary Clinton information about a debate question and the person it would be asked by. Brazile, who at the time was a CNN contributor, was fired from the network following the reports and drew severe criticism from many people, including Trump.
“Why didn’t Hillary Clinton announce that she was inappropriately given the debate questions — she secretly used them! Crooked Hillary,” Trump tweeted at the time.
Why didn’t Hillary Clinton announce that she was inappropriately given the debate questions – she secretly used them! Crooked Hillary.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 20, 2016