Thursday 22 March 2018

Donald Trump: Uproar over comments about women 'fuelled by press'

Donald Trump has been heavily criticised for his comments about Megyn Kelly (AP)
Donald Trump has been heavily criticised for his comments about Megyn Kelly (AP)

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump claimed he never intended to say anything inappropriate about Fox News's Megyn Kelly and said the uproar was "all fuelled by the press".

In his remarks, the billionaire real estate executive again tried to clarify what he had said about Kelly, one of the moderators of last week's Republican presidential debate.

During the debate, Kelly asked the Republican candidate about negative statements he has made in the past about women.

Mr Trump was angered by the line of questioning and later caused an uproar when he told CNN that Kelly had "blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever".

"This wasn't meant to be much of an insult," Mr Trump said.

Mr Trump said that he did not get to complete his description about how he thought Kelly was being so angry towards him. But he did say: "She asked me a question that was nasty and I gave her a pretty tough answer."

Addressing comments he made on Friday in an interview on CNN, Mr Trump said, "I said she was so angry that blood was coming out of her eyes. I said blood was coming out of her .... and I didn't even finish it."

Mr Trump's remarks resulted in him being uninvited from a major conservative gathering and also earned criticism from several of his rivals, including former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who said that Mr Trump's comments were "completely inappropriate and offensive".

Mr Trump has been in a defensive mode since last Thursday's nationally broadcast Fox News debate as his rivals work to navigate a Republican presidential primary campaign that has been dominated by his bellicose statements.

He said the other candidates benefited from his presence last Thursday.

"They had 24 million people watching," Mr Trump said. "If I wasn't on the show, they would have had two million."

Mr Trump gave a series of phoned-in television interviews on Sunday responding to the latest controversy surrounding his campaign.

This time Trump, who has made inflammatory statements against Mexicans crossing the border illegally and the war record of Republican senator John McCain, was under fire for his CNN remarks.

Kelly had questioned Trump's history of insults directed at women and whether that kind of language would perpetuate the idea of a Republican "war on women".

Mr Trump, who has enjoyed an early lead in the polls with another 15 months to go before the first votes are held, refused to apologise for the remark. He said that only a "deviant" would have thought he'd intended the word "wherever" to mean anything other than her ears or her nose.

"I apologise when I'm wrong. But I haven't been wrong. I mean, I said nothing wrong," Mr Trump said.

He also declared that he would be a wonderful president for women, despite his history of sexist remarks.

"I'm very much into the whole thing of helping people and helping women," he said. ''Women's health issues are such a big thing to me and so important."

Mr Trump's campaign is in the middle of a shake-up after having parted ways with the tycoon's long-time adviser Roger Stone.

Press Association

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Editors Choice

Also in World News