LOS ANGELES — Megyn Kelly defended her upcoming interview with conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in a statement issued on Tuesday.
Since the interview was announced, Kelly has faced a considerable amount of backlash for booking Jones, the “Infowars” host, on her new NBC show “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.” JPMorgan Chase & Co. said on Monday that it would pull all ads and digital spots from the show until after the interview airs. Earlier Tuesday morning Kelly was dropped as the host of Sandy Hook Promise’s gala.
“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,” Kelly wrote. “I find Alex Jones’s suggestion that Sandy Hook was ‘a hoax’ as personally revolting as every other rational person does.”
Kelly went on to defend her decision to proceed with the interview, especially considering the far-right media personality’s affiliation with President Donald Trump.
“President Trump, by praising and citing him, appearing on his show, and giving him White House press credentials, has helped elevate Jones, to the alarm of many,” Kelly wrote. “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.”
Jones is a familiar subject of controversy, and has promoted many conspiracy theories, including that the Newtown shootings were a government hoax.
Kelly was scheduled to host the annual gala of Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit gun violence prevention group that has strong ties to the 2012 shooting in Newtown, Conn. The organization’s co-founder and managing director Nicole Hockley said Tuesday that Kelly had agreed to “step down.”
”Sandy Hook Promise cannot support the decision by Megyn or NBC to give any form of voice or platform to Alex Jones,” Hockley said in a statement. “It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.”
Here is my statement regarding Sunday night’s interview: pic.twitter.com/iS2VfyLt6S
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 13, 2017