WASHINGTON — On four Sunday shows, GOP White House hopeful Donald Trump said a crack he made about blood and Fox News host Megyn Kelly was not about her menstrual cycle.
“Only a deviant would’ve thought otherwise,” Trump said on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” repeating a variation of that quote on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” ABC’s “This Week” and CNN’s “State of the Union.”
Since I am not a deviant, I believe him.
Trump, the first to tell you he is a ratings magnet, was booked on the four shows — skipping Fox — in the wake of his complaints that an angry Kelly hit him with a “nasty” question at the Republican debate on Thursday, where she was one of three moderators.
Fox News host Megyn Kelly | John Minchillo/AP
On Friday, Trump told CNN’s Don Lemon, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her — wherever,” triggering the latest controversy. Some people — the deviants — took his crack to be about Kelly’s period.
“Who would say that?” Trump said to CNN host Jake Tapper.
“Hey, Jake, I went to the Wharton School of Finance. I was an excellent student. I’m a smart person. I built a tremendous company. I had a show called “The Apprentice” that NBC desperately wanted me to do another season. . . . OK. I do all this stuff. Do you think I make a stupid statement like that? Who would make a statement like that? Only a sick person would even think about it.”
Since I am also not a sick person, I believe Trump when he said he was referring to her nose or ears but just said “wherever” to move the conversation along.
“George, [people] should not have taken it another way,” Trump told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos.
“I’ll apologize when I’m wrong, but I haven’t been wrong,” Trump told NBC’s Chuck Todd.
I admire Kelly for asking the question, but it was highly predictable that Trump would be asked about past disparaging comments about women, as Kelly recounted, calling them “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”
Trump is smart enough to know — he is a Wharton grad — that his wild cracks about women and his picking a fight with the popular Kelly — will make it, eventually, harder to win the Republican nomination, much less the White House.
On Sunday, Trump said on all the shows that he has a lot of women working for him and that women’s health issues “are such a big thing to me and so important,” he told CBS’ John Dickerson.
Dickerson asked, “Is there a specific women’s issue you’re thinking of?”
“Well, no,” Trump said.
Trump justifies everything he has said or done so far in his presidential campaign by his metrics, compared to the 16 other GOP contenders: He’s the front-runner in national polls and he’s the top in major social media numbers.
Trump is an unconventional candidate running a nontraditional and almost totally self-funded campaign. On Sunday, he got away with just calling in to the four shows — and not appearing in the studio or via a live remote.
As I started to write this Trump column on Sunday afternoon, being diligent, I checked his Twitter feed to see what might be on his mind since the morning shows.
The billionaire businessman and reality show star is probably right when he attributed the record 24 million debate viewing audience to his being on the stage.
Tweeted Trump, for whom everything is a transaction: “It amazes me that other networks seem to treat me so much better than @FoxNews. I brought them the biggest ratings in history, & I get zip!”