Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump doubled down on criticism of a female debate moderator who pressed him on his history of offensive comments Thursday.
In a call-in interview on CNN Friday, the real estate mogul said Fox News host Megyn Kelly was "off base" when she asked him about derogatory comments he has made about women, his past support for abortion and his criticism of his Republican opponents.
"She gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions," he told CNN host Don Lemon. "You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base."
Trump added that he was not alone, arguing that the "hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter" had also written that they did not like Kelly's questions.
In one of the first questions of the debate, Kelly asked Trump about comments in which he "called women you don’t like 'fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals,'" "made disparaging comments about women's looks" and told a contestant on Celebrity Apprentice that "it would be a pretty picture to see her on her knees."
Trump responded by arguing that he was kidding and that he didn't have time for "total political correctness." After the debate, he blasted that and other questions as "nasty" and "unfair."
Below is the full text of Trump's response to a question on CNN Friday about Kelly:
Well, I just don't respect her as a journalist. I have no respect for her. I don't think she's very good. I think she's highly overrated. But when I came out there—you know, what am I doing, I'm not getting paid for this—I go out there, and you know, they start saying lift up your arm if you're gonna... And you know I didn't know there'd be 24 million people. I knew it was going to be a big crowd, because I get big crowds, I get ratings. They call me the ratings machine. And she gets out and she starts asking me all sorts of ridiculous questions. You know, you could see there was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever. In my opinion, she was off base. And by the way, not in my opinion—in the opinion of hundreds of thousands of people on Twitter because it has been a brutal day. In one way, a great day for Fox. In another way, in the Twittersphere, it's been very bad, because she's been very badly criticized. (Crosstalk) Hey, she's a lightweight. I couldn't care less about her. In fact, you're competing against her and I'm doing your show.