Trump resumes attack on Fox host

Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump (right) sparring with Univision reporter Jorge Ramos during a Tuesday press conference.
Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump (right) sparring with Univision reporter Jorge Ramos during a Tuesday press conference.PHOTO: REUTERS

US presidential hopeful's insults prompt chief of news channel to demand an apology

WASHINGTON • The chief of Fox News has demanded an apology from Mr Donald Trump, the frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination,after he resumed attacks on TV host Megyn Kelly.

Mr Trump used Twitter to slam Ms Kelly as she returned from vacation, reviving brutal criticism of her after she asked pointed questions during an Aug 6 debate featuring Republican presidential hopefuls.

He retweeted a comment on Monday calling Ms Kelly a "bimbo", and said her show "was much better without Megyn Kelly. Her replacement while she was out on vacation was much better".

Ms Kelly likely had a "terrible vacation" because "she is really off her game", Mr Trump added.

That drew a strong reaction from Fox chairman Roger Ailes, a former Republican adviser who still holds tremendous sway within the party.

"Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing," Mr Ailes said in a statement on Tuesday.

Ms Kelly "represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at Fox News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise", he added.

Mr Trump launched a Twitter tirade against Ms Kelly after the debate, saying she treated him unfairly by asking crude questions about his past comments on women.

He was widely criticised for insinuating that she had been menstruating at the time, although he denied that was what he meant.

Mr Trump also booted a journalist from a leading US Spanish-language channel out of a news conference on Tuesday. The incident involving bilingual anchor Jorge Ramos was carried live by several US networks. Mr Ramos has clashed with Mr Trump before, particularly over immigration and Mr Trump's plan to deport those in the United States illegally.

When Mr Ramos asked a question, Mr Trump called on someone else, saying: "Excuse me sit down, you weren't called. Sit down."

"I have the right to ask a question," Mr Ramos insisted.

"Go back to Univision," Mr Trump retorted, before Mr Ramos was escorted out by security staff.

But Mr Trump said he held no ill will and just wanted Mr Ramos to conform to the rules, saying: "I don't mind if he comes back."

Mr Ramos did return and engaged in a prolonged back-and-forth with the candidate about immigration.

China's president also came under fire, with Mr Trump saying Mr Xi Jinping would only get a McDonald's hamburger instead of a White House state dinner if he were president. He also said "a big uncoupling" of the US and Chinese economies is needed.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, NEW YORK TIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 27, 2015, with the headline 'Trump resumes attack on Fox host'. Print Edition | Subscribe