"America is a hellhole, and we're going down fast": Donald Trump and Megyn Kelly have a testy exchange about state of the nation

"I come back from Qatar and land at LaGuardia and it's a Third World country"


Scott Eric Kaufman
May 21, 2015 4:31PM (UTC)

Megyn Kelly lit into potential GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump on Wednesday night's edition of "The Kelly Files," telling him that only a lunatic would run for president with the numbers he's polling at, then upbraiding him for recent statements about Amtrak and the attempted attack at the "Draw the Prophet" contest in Garland, Texas.

Kelly started by asking what he made of a Bloomberg poll that said 62 percent of Republicans and independents would never consider voting for him for president. "I looked into that," Trump replied, "and it's only because they don't think I'm running."

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On the question of Iraq and whether the United States should have invaded, Trump declared a pox on both parties' houses, saying that "it's the fault of Bush for going in, and Obama for pulling out too soon. It's really a double fault."

Seemingly unsatisfied with that answer, Kelly shifted gears again, saying "let's talk about Amtrak, because you after the Philadelphia crash, you started tweeting out about infrastructure, saying 'The only one to fix the infrastructure in this country is me!'"

"But what are you talking about?" she asked. "The guy was going twice the speed limit! How is this about infrastructure?" Trump replied by pointing out that even the speeding is an infrastructure problem, because with the correct equipment on the railways, it would have been impossible for the driver to have done that.

"But it was the driver, and infrastructure could have overcome that!" Kelly replied, before a seemingly annoyed Trump shut her down. "Regardless of that -- our bridges are falling apart, the medians are falling apart, the airports look like hell. I come back from Qatar and land at LaGuardia and it's a Third World country."

"So let's talk about free speech," Kelly said, abruptly tacking again. She asked about tweets he sent and statements he made on Fox News in which he blamed the organizer of the "Draw the Prophet" contest, Pam Geller, for the attempted attack. Before Kelly could fully introduce the topic, Trump interrupted her, saying "Pam Geller is a terrible messenger. I think what she's doing is -- we have enough problems without taunting people and driving everybody crazy."

"My question to you," Kelly replied, "is what do we stand for as Americans, if not freedom of speech and the ability to express yourself?"

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"I'm not the only conservative Republican to feel this way," Trump replied. "She's a troublemaker!" The conservation quickly turned to Ramadi, before turning back to Trump's presidential aspirations.

"You'll be surprised," he said of his planned June announcement. "I want to make this country great again. This country is a hellhole, and we're going down fast."

Watch the entire interview below via Fox News.


Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

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Donald Trump Elections 2016 Fox News Megyn Kelly The Kelly Files Video

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