Megyn Kelly says she refused to fight back after repeated attacks by Donald Trump — and thinks the tactic "drove him nuts."
In an interview with Time
posted Thursday, the Fox News anchor — who became a frequent target of the presumptive GOP presidential nominee during his early campaign — explains taking the "high road" allowed her to keep doing her job.
"I'm a journalist covering this race," she tells Time. "I always wanted to continue covering this race. I never wanted to be baited into doing something that would give him the fodder to jeopardize my fairness and my objectivity. "
"If I came out there and started fighting Trump, he would have just turned around and said, 'She can't be fair, right?'" she adds.
"At times, I think it drove him nuts that I wasn't responding. But that was clearly the right course to pursue."
Kelly also says she had "faith" that "people who have been paying attention, they knew what to make of certain of his comments."
The rift began last August at the first Fox News-hosted presidential debate, where Kelly questioned him about his past remarks about women.
Trump's anger at the grilling
set off a months-long feud in which Trump even skipped a debate
that Kelly co-hosted in January.
Last month, however, Kelly met with Trump
to try to resolve their differences.
"He was very warm from the moment I walked in," she tells Time. "I think he greatly appreciated the fact that I reached out and was willing to go to him. So, we got off on the right foot. We had a very amiable exchange."
But she says the brash billionaire didn't apologize and that "no apology was requested, either."
Kelly says there were lessons learned from the whole experience.
"I am not fearless, but I do have courage, and adversity is an opportunity," she tells Time. "People kept calling me fearless throughout the whole thing, and I kept kind of laughing because I am not fearless. I have plenty of fears. But I do have the courage to walk through them. That's really all you need."
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