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Donald Trump stops attacking Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly

Donald Trump stops attacking Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly
GOP presidential hopeful Donald Trump was enraged after Fox News Channel's Megyn Kelly pressed him at last week's debate on disparaging remarks he has made about women. Trump subsequently called Kelly a "bimbo." (John Minchillo / Associated Press)

Donald Trump appears to be backing off of Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly.

Trump returned to Fox News Channel on Tuesday morning on "Fox and Friends," where he was not asked about Kelly nor made any mention of it. He also did not address the subject when he appeared on CNN's "New Day," during which anchor Chris Cuomo brought up a newspaper column that said the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination was a "whiner." He is scheduled to appear for a full hour on Fox News Channel's "Hannity" on Tuesday night.

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After last week's ratings-record-setting Republican presidential primary debate, Trump was enraged over the questioning by Fox News Channel's moderators, especially Kelly, who pressed the candidate on his disparaging remarks about women.

Trump stewed over the exchange all weekend, calling Kelly a "bimbo" on Twitter and implying in a CNN interview that her tough stance was related to her menstrual cycle. While he later said the remark was misinterpreted, he maintained that Kelly owed him an apology.

Kelly opened the Monday edition of her Fox News Channel program "The Kelly File" by saying that she has no plans to apologize to Trump. She has not commented on his remarks about her.

Based on the Nielsen ratings, there has been no backlash from Fox News viewers. Kelly's program "The Kelly File," had an average audience of 2.91 million viewers on Monday, making it the most-watched cable news show of the night.

According to a Fox News executive not authorized to discuss the matter publicly, Trump's latest TV appearances indicate the candidate has likely gotten the message that Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes and the rest of his organization are solidly backing Kelly and her performance at the debate.

Ailes issued a statement acknowledging that he had a phone conversation with Trump on Monday.

"Donald Trump and I spoke today," he said. "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 and balance. We had a blunt but cordial conversation and the air has been cleared."

Trump said in a tweet: "Roger Ailes just called. He is a great guy and assures me that 'Trump' will be treated fairly on Fox News. His word is always good!"

 Twitter: @stevebattaglio

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