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Conservative talk show host Mark Levin on Thursday tore into Fox News’s Megyn Kelly over her contentious interview this week with Newt Gingrich.
Levin, who railed against GOP presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald TrumpFrench election: Le Pen, Macron ahead in early results Trump: Government 'involves heart,' unlike business Issa dodges when asked if he wants Trump to campaign alongside him MORE for months before grudgingly endorsing him in September, said on his radio show that Kelly was trying to impress executives at other networks because her contract is up next year.
"She is auditioning, in my opinion, for a bigger forum. That’s not exactly a state secret. ... Fine. But please don’t pretend you’re a journalist,” said Levin, who worked in Ronald Reagan’s administration.
Levin also blamed Kelly for "lighting the fuse" for Trump to be attacked over his behavior toward women.
During the first GOP presidential primary debate in August 2015, Kelly asked Trump about derogatory comments about women he made before his campaign. Trump responded by joking that they were all directed toward comedian Rosie O’Donnell.
“[Kelly] was so obsessed with Rosie O’Donnell and Donald Trump and things that were said back and forth, she set the stage for what became month after month of vicious personal, nasty attacks, and she’s doing it again,” Levin said.
Trump harshly attacked Kelly in the aftermath of the debate. They reached a truce in 2016, with Kelly even interviewing Trump for a Fox TV network special in May.
Kelly’s contentious interview with Gingrich on Wednesday night went viral after the former Speaker accused Kelly of being "fascinated with sex” regarding her coverage of Trump.
Kelly retorted that her show covered Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPoll: 85 percent of Clinton supporters would vote for her again OMB director: Government shutdown not a 'desired end' Poll: Almost half say Trump off to poor start MORE scandals and substantive issues surrounding the election as well. Indeed, the segment after Gingrich’s interview featured Kelly exploring the latest WikiLeaks releases of emails from Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta.
“There was no news. There was regurgitation — 14 days before an election," Levin said of the interview.
"If this is the future of Fox, then Fox will be dead. Because this kind of National Enquirer stuff dressed up as journalism doesn’t fly.”
Kelly's representatives are seeking an annual salary of $20 million in negotiations with Fox, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.
The 45-year-old former attorney is reportedly making $15 million in the final year of her contract, which expires next July.
21st Century Fox and Fox News Executive Chairman Rupert Murdoch told the Journal he is hopeful to nail down a new contract with Kelly "very soon."