In Rush to Defend Stormy Daniels, Megyn Kelly Compares First Lady to Porn Star

Eager to defend the virtue of porn star Stormy Daniels against Donald Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani questioning her character and credibility, on her Thursday 9:00 a.m. ET hour show, NBC anchor Megyn Kelly actually compared First Lady Melania Trump to the adult film actress. The host claimed that the president’s wife “sold her body for sexual exploitation” when she once posed nude for GQ magazine 18 years ago.

Kelly began the panel discussion by playing a clip of Giuliani telling an audience in Israel: “I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person, and isn’t going to sell her body for sexual exploitation.”

 

 

In response, NBC reporter Stephanie Gosk ranted:

Megyn, if you sat me down right now and said, “Stephanie, please script the worst possible thing that could come out of Giuliani’s mouth in answer to that question,” I’d be hard pressed to come up with something worse. I mean, honestly. It is shockingly, shockingly dumb. And offensive.

That prompted laughter and applause from the studio audience.

Moments later, Kelly decided to compare the First Lady to Daniels:

And can I just tell you, so the notion that, you know, he respects women of substance, a woman who won’t sell her body for sexual exploitation. So Melania Trump is classy and gorgeous, and I really admire her, but she has posed nude for GQ magazine back in 2000. [Applause] And so, to suggest that Trump would never respect, and that Giuliani wouldn’t respect anybody who’s ever sold her body for sexual exploitation, I mean, is not –

At that point, the morning show host realized what she was saying and attempted to clarify: “...now, I’m not comparing the two, posing nude is not the same as being a porn star – but come on. Right? Come on.” Of course the comparison had already clearly been made.

I'm sure viewers can expect that the next celebrity who shows up on Kelly's program or the Today show who's ever done a nude scene in a movie can expect to be asked about selling their body for sexual exploitation. 

To her credit, Kelly attempted to briefly “play devil’s advocate” for Giuliani:

I went back and I looked at Stormy Daniels’ Twitter feed, which I cannot say that I recommend to you. But she’s very open about how she is offensive, how she’s offensive. And talking about “Whores do lie, but on their backs. Sometimes we kneel or bend over.” “Have you seen my [blank]. Of course you have.” “F-off” to people on Twitter. Talking about what kind of sex she’ll do on camera in very vulgar terms. So there is a contingent of folks out there watching Giuliani who are going to be, like, “Right!” I'm playing devil’s advocate.

While Gosk acknowledged that “those things are going to be offensive to people,” the correspondent argued that it was inappropriate for Giuliani to be “going after her character and her substance.” Kelly chimed in: “And being an adult film star does not make you a liar. Doesn’t make you a liar.”

Also on the panel was New York Times reporter Megan Twohey, who testified to the work ethic and values of those in the porn industry:

I was doing reporting on Stormy Daniels this winter, and I actually traveled out to Los Angeles for the Golden Globes equivalent for the porn industry....Stormy was up for best director for a film at the time. I thought maybe I’d be able to catch her there. She didn’t show. But I actually spent a lot of time talking to women in the adult entertainment industry and spent – you know, have had many conversations with women in the field since then. And you can say whatever you want about them, but they are certainly career women. I mean, these are professional women who take their jobs very seriously. And oftentimes are running their own companies and directing their own films. And it’s just, I think that beyond what he’s saying about Stormy Daniels, to do a categoric dismissal of this, you know, entire profession of women is – you know, is uncalled for.

In a bizarre attempt to bolster the credibility of Daniels’s claims of having an affair with Trump, Kelly decided to poll her audience by asking: “Do you believe that Melania Trump believes Donald Trump?” Crowd shouted back: “No!”

Well, I guess that proves that it happened, Megyn Kelly’s audience says so.

Here is a full transcript of the June 7 segment:

9:06 AM ET

MEGYN KELLY: We’ve got to get to Rudy. So Rudy Giuliani was over in Israel and he answered all sorts of questions about Trump, about life, about love. And they asked him whether the First Lady, Melania Trump, believes the Stormy Daniels allegations, that Stormy and Trump had an affair back in 2006, while he was married to Melania. And Rudy said, “She doesn’t believe Stormy Daniels.” [Laughter] And then went on to say this.

RUDY GIULIANI: She believes in her husband. She knows it’s not true. I don’t even think there’s a slight suspicion that it’s true, excuse me, but when you look at Stormy Daniels. I know Donald Trump.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Let’s respect her.

[ON-SCREEN: Rude Rudy? Giuliani Criticizes Stormy Daniels]

GIULIANI: Look at his three wives, right? Beautiful women, classy women, women of great substance. But Stormy Daniels? I respect all human beings. I even have to respect, you know, criminals. But I’m sorry, I don’t respect a porn star the way I respect a career woman or a woman of substance or a woman who has great respect for herself as a woman and as a person, and isn't going to sell her body for sexual exploitation. So, Stormy, you want to bring your case, let me cross-examine you.

KELLY: So NBC reached out to him just this morning. He said he stands by his comments. “Why wouldn’t I?,” he said. He said, “Look, are you going to try to tell me that porn is not demeaning to women?” And when questioned about whether he was trying to undermine Stormy’s credibility, he said, “I don’t have to undermine her credibility, she has none.”

STEPHANIE GOSK: Megyn, if you sat me down right now and said, “Stephanie, please script the worst possible thing that could come out of Giuliani’s mouth in answer to that question,” I’d be hard pressed to come up with something worse. I mean, honestly. It is shockingly, shockingly dumb. And offensive. [Laughter and applause]

MEGAN TWOHEY [NEW YORK TIMES]: I mean, it’s also part of the – an ongoing Trump playbook. I mean, not just in the case of Stormy Daniels, but going back to the 2016 presidential race, when there were women who came forward with, not claims of consensual affairs, but actual sexual misconduct against him. One of his defenses was, “She’s not attractive enough. I wouldn’t have done that. She’s not attractive enough.”

KELLY: Right, “Have you seen her?”

TWOHEY: So this is sort of a continuation of a defense that’s rolled out when they want to discredit women, saying they’re not attractive to be telling the – attractive enough to be telling the truth about him.

KELLY: And can I just tell you, so the notion that, you know, he respects women of substance, a woman who won’t sell her body for sexual exploitation. So Melania Trump is classy and gorgeous, and I really admire her, but she has posed nude for GQ magazine back in 2000. [Applause] And so, to suggest that Trump would never respect, and that Giuliani wouldn’t respect anybody who’s ever sold her body for sexual exploitation, I mean, is not – now, I’m not comparing the two, posing nude is not the same as being a porn star – but come on. Right? Come on.

Let me play devil’s advocate, though, on Giuliani’s behalf, since he’s not here. I went back and I looked at Stormy Daniels’ Twitter feed, which I cannot say that I recommend to you. But she’s very open about how she is offensive, how she’s offensive. And talking about “Whores do lie, but on their backs. Sometimes we kneel or bend over.” “Have you seen my [blank]. Of course you have.” “F-off” to people on Twitter. Talking about what kind of sex she’ll do on camera in very vulgar terms. So there is a contingent of folks out there watching Giuliani who are going to be, like, “Right!” I'm playing devil’s advocate.

GOSK: Certainly, those things are going to be offensive to people and they’re not going to –  they’re going to look at that and say, “Oh, God.” I get that. But she’s also playing to them a bit, and she said, “I have every right in the world to be who I want to be, to be this person.” And when what happened to her happened with Trump, she’s fighting her fight. And I think when Giuliani comes out and talks about her substance and her appearance – he can come out and say, “You know what, it didn’t happen.”

KELLY: Right.

GOSK: “Trump says it didn’t happen, Melania said it didn’t happen.” Fine. That’s a perfectly fine defense. But now, he's going after her character and her substance and it just is –  

KELLY: And being an adult film star does not make you a liar. Doesn’t make you a liar.

TWOHEY: Right, and exactly. I was doing reporting on Stormy Daniels this winter, and I actually traveled out to Los Angeles for the Golden Globes equivalent for the porn industry. And I spent –  

KELLY: Oh, that must have been interesting.

TWOHEY: It was interesting, it was interesting. [Laughter] Stormy was up for best director for a film at the time. I thought maybe I’d be able to catch her there. She didn’t show. But I actually spent a lot of time talking to women in the adult entertainment industry and spent – you know, have had many conversations with women in the field since then. And you can say whatever you want about them, but they are certainly career women. I mean, these are professional women who take their jobs very seriously. And oftentimes are running their own companies and directing their own films. And it’s just, I think that beyond what he’s saying about Stormy Daniels, to do a categoric dismissal of this, you know, entire profession of women is – you know, is uncalled for.

KELLY: Can I just ask the audience? Do you believe that Melania Trump believes Donald Trump?

STUDIO AUDIENCE: No!

KELLY: Right? In his denial of the affair.

GOSK: I didn’t say it was a good argument. [Laughter] I just said it could be an argument.

KELLY: Alright, we’ll leave it at that. Great to see you, ladies. We’ll be right back.


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