The interview was anticipated to be a big moment for Trump and Kelly, and promised to show a more personal side of the presumptive nominee, however coverage following the interview has been critical.
Politico declared that Kelly “[served] up softball after softball in an encounter that was, for all the hype, ultimately unrevealing.”
The interview was not styled as a debate, but as a discussion in the same type of style as Barbara Walters and Oprah Winfrey, signaling a possible move from hard political news for Kelly.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2016
At the heart of the discussion was Trump’s personal feud with the Fox News host:
“Let’s talk about us,” Kelly said, moving on to the subject of the first Republican debate, when she had questioned him about some of the language he had used in reference to certain women—specifically the terms ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ ‘slobs’ and ‘disgusting animals.’
“That’s the first question that I have ever been asked during a debate,” he told Kelly. “And I am saying to myself, ‘Man, what a question!'”
Mr. Trump said he felt the question had not been fair, before Kelly jumped in: “You know, it’s not a cocktail party.”
The two talked about more personal subjects, like Trump’s two divorces, his brother’s alcoholism, and whether or not the Republican nominee had been bullied as a child.
Trump’s answer to being bullied was a definitive “No.”
At one point, Kelly asked him whether or not he regretted anything about the campaign.
“Absolutely, I have regrets… I could have done certain things differently, I could have maybe used different language, but overall I have to be very happy with the outcome.”
Trump didn’t specify his regrets and didn’t appear to be interested in dwelling on the past.
“You can correct a mistake, but to look back and say ‘I wish I didn’t do this or that,’ I don’t think that’s good—I don’t even think that’s healthy.”
The nominee said, “if I didn’t conduct myself in the way I’ve done, I don’t think I would have been successful.”
Donald Trump live-tweeted the interview and retweeted supporters praising the interview.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2016