WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump is standing by his widely panned comments criticizing Fox News personality Megyn Kelly, digging in his heels once again as his rivals work to navigate a GOP presidential primary campaign that has been dominated by reaction to one of his bellicose statements after the next.
Trump gave a series of phoned-in television interviews Sunday responding to the latest controversy surrounding his campaign.
This time Trump, who has made inflammatory statements against Mexicans crossing the border illegally and Vietnam War veteran Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., was under fire for telling CNN Friday night that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever” during the first GOP debate.
Kelly had questioned Trump’s history of insults directed at women and whether that kind of language would perpetuate the idea of a Republican “war on women.”
Trump, who has enjoyed an early lead in the polls, refused to apologize for the remark Sunday, and said that only a “deviant” would have thought he’d intended the word “wherever” to mean anything other than her ears or her nose.
“I apologize when I’m wrong. But I haven’t been wrong. I mean, I said nothing wrong,” Trump told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
He also declared that he’d be a wonderful president for women, despite his history of sexist remarks.
“I’m very much into the whole thing of helping people and helping women,” he said on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” ”Women’s health issues are such a big thing to me and so important.”
Trump’s remarks resulted in him being disinvited from a major conservative gathering and also earned criticism from several of his rivals, including former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, who said that Trump’s comments were “completely inappropriate and offensive.”
Trump’s campaign is currently in the middle of a shakeup after having parted ways with Trump’s longtime adviser Roger Stone.