The media war between Republican presidential contender Donald Trump and Fox News star Megyn Kelly seems to have died down, but the questions about its conclusion keep coming.
And one version is bringing up the question anew: Did Fox News chief Roger Ailes hit Trump with a dramatic either/or ultimatum over the real estate tycoon’s feud with network star?
CNN’s Brian Stelter reported Wednesday that a source said Ailes allegedly told Trump we “can resolve this now, or we can go to war.”
According to Stelter, after a weekend of stressful phone calls following last week’s GOP presidential primary debate, Ailes believed that things had been worked out with Trump, who had been attacking Kelly — Ailes’ de facto successor to ratings king Bill O’Reilly — since a tense exchange between the two during the debate that was broadcast on Fox News.
But when Ailes heard the GOP front-runner call for an apology from Kelly during an interview Monday morning on MSNBC, he’d had enough.
“This was the final straw for Roger,” the source said.
According to the source, Ailes’ office called Trump’s office and the Fox News honcho dropped the ultimatum — war or peace.
If he really was given the choice, it appears that Trump chose peace, as things have certainly quieted down in his showdown with Kelly, although Stelter claims it’s a “tenuous truce.”
All that’s known for certain is that the two men spoke Monday. Trump posted on social media later that morning that he had just spoken with Ailes:
Roger Ailes just called. He is a great guy & assures me that “Trump” will be treated fairly on @FoxNews. His word is always good!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 10, 2015
Ailes also confirmed that he had a “blunt” conversation with Trump by phone on Monday, saying the “air has been cleared.”
In a statement obtained by BPR, Ailes said:
Donald Trump and I spoke today. We discussed our concerns, and I again expressed my confidence in Megyn Kelly. She is a brilliant journalist and I support her 100 percent. I assured him that we will continue to cover this campaign with fairness & balance. We had a blunt but cordial conversation and the air has been cleared.