NBC’s Megyn Kelly said Tuesday that she’s “disappointed” the Sandy Hook Promise group dropped her as a host for its gala later this week over an upcoming interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
“I understand and respect the decision of the event organizers but I’m of course disappointed that I won’t be there to support them on Wednesday night,” wrote Kelly in a statement.
Kelly also defended her decision to interview Jones, who has called the massacre that left 20 children and six adults dead at an elementary school in 2012 a “hoax.”
Kelly pointed to President Trump’s “respect” for Jones and his “growing audience of millions.”
“I find Alex Jones’s suggestion that Sandy Hook was ‘a hoax’ as personally revolting as every other rational person does,” the mother of three continued. “It left me, and many other Americans, asking the very question that prompted this interview: how does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions.”
“President Trump, by praising him and citing him, appearing on his show [in 2015], and giving him White House press credentials, has helped elevate Jones, to the alarm of many.”
The White House has denied on two occasions that Jones’s Infowars was given press credentials despite the host’s claims that they were provided. Infowars did gain a one-day press pass, however, which are relatively easy to obtain in this and past administrations.
“Our goal in sitting down with him was to shine a light — as journalists are supposed to do — on this influential figure, and yes, to discuss the considerable falsehoods he has promoted with near impunity,” Kelly concluded.
J.P. Morgan Chase has reportedly pulled it ads from the program in protest as Kelly is facing backlash on social media for an upcoming NBC interview with Jones.
Kelly, a former Fox News host, has already taped the interview with Jones that will air next week on “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly,” a new program that debuted on June 4.
Nelba Márquez-Greene’s daughter, whose daughter, Ana Grace, was one of 20 children aged six or seven who were killed in the shooting, scolded Kelly after the NBC host said the exchange with Jones was “riveting” in a tweet to her 2.35 million followers.
“I promise you it’s not riveting,” Marquez-Greene wrote in a tweet retweeted by Chelsea Clinton. “How would you feel if someone shot your kids, some fool said it wasn’t true- and I gave him a show?”
“I never imagined losing a child to gun violence and being involved in something like this,” she wrote at Kelly in another tweet. “By making this choice, you grieve our hearts and the memory of our child. You have a powerful platform. I encourage you to ‘shine light’ on affirming the losses suffered here — NOT on a person who mocks those losses.”
Jones, a host on InfoWars.com and a founder of the site, once alleged that the parents of the 20 slain children were actors.
The interview will air on Father’s Day.
SOURCE: JOE CONCHA