During the Trump campaign’s battle with Fox News incited by host Megan Kelly, White House chief strategist Steve Bannon reportedly told the late Fox News head Roger Ailes to “go f— yourself.”
According to New York Magazine, Ailes, who died in May, sent his personal lawyer, Peter Johnson Jr., to Breitbart headquarters in D.C. to tell Bannon to cease the publication of stories against then-Fox News host Megan Kelly. The stories stemmed from Kelly’s questioning of then-candidate Donald Trump during a primary debate regarding his behavior toward and language about women.
Bannon reportedly refused to cease publication of the stories about Kelly, calling her “pure evil” and contending that she would ultimately turn on Ailes.
“We’re going full-bore. We’re not going to stop. I’m gonna unchain the dogs,” Bannon said, according to the magazine, then told Johnson to “go back to New York and quote me to Roger. ‘Go f— yourself.’”
The magazine reported that Ailes initially called Bannon after the debate to discuss the negative coverage, claiming that it was not “fair and it’s killing us. You have to stop it.”
“F— that, that was outrageous what she did!” Bannon reportedly said. “She pulled every trick out of the leftist playbook.”
Following the exchange, Ailes and Bannon did not speak for a year.
Later in the campaign, Ailes and Trump reconciled and Kelly eventually interviewed Trump one-on-one. Bannon took a leave of absence from Breitbart, joined the Trump campaign and then accepted a position in the Trump administration.
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