Conspiracy theorist Alex Jones hemmed and hawed when pressed repeatedly by Megyn Kelly to admit he was wrong to call the Sandy Hook massacre a hoax.
But the controversial Infowars host never gave a direct answer in a segment on Sunday night on NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly.
Kelly had been plagued with intense criticism for giving a platform to Jones – with critics labeling the decision to air the interview on Father’s Day as ‘disgusting’ and ‘shameful’.
Yet following the show, many on Twitter applauded the NBC host for the interview that Jones had earlier tried to discredit as a hit piece.
Kelly started her show on Sunday night addressing the widespread controversy surrounding the pre-taped interview with the Infowars host, acknowledging that Jones’ ‘outrageous statement’ had prompted outcry.
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Megyn Kelly repeatedly asked conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to admit he was wrong to call the Sandy Hook massacre a hoax during an interview that aired on NBC on Sunday night
During the interview, Kelly read to Jones parts of his claims that the massacre in Newtown, Connecticut didn’t happen.
‘At that point, that’s pretty much what I believed,’ Jones said when read on portion of his claims made after the 2012 shootings.
‘You’re trying to have it all ways, right?’ she asked about his Sandy Hook claims. ‘If you wrongly went out there and said it was a hoax, that’s wrong.’
He responded: ‘What I already answered your question was, listeners and other people were covering this, I didn’t create that story.’
Jones was quickly interrupted by Kelly, who put her head in her hands as she said: ‘Alex, the parents, one after the other, devastated, the dead bodies that the coroner autopsied…’
‘They’ve locked all that, won’t release any of it,’ he replied.
Kelly asked: ‘All the parents decided to come out and about their dead children? What happened to the children?’
‘I didn’t say that… I will sit there on the air and look at every position and play Devil’s advocate,’ he said in his defense.
Alex Jones, the controversial Infowars host, never gave a direct answer in a segment on Sunday night on NBC’s Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly
Kelly has been plagued with intense criticism for giving a platform to Jones – with some labelling the decision to air the interview on Father’s Day as ‘disgusting’ and ‘shameful’
At one point during the interview, a clearly frustrated Kelly held her head in her hands as she questioned Jones about his statements on Sandy Hook
‘When you say parents faked their children’s death, people get very angry,’ Kelly said.
‘Oh I know,’ he replied. ‘But they don’t get angry about the half million dead Iraqis from the sanctions. Or they don’t get angry about all the illegals pouring in …’
‘That’s a dodge,’ Kelly said.
He hit back: ‘No, no. It’s not a dodge. The media never covers all the evil wars it’s promoted and all the big things … Here’s the difference. I looked at all the angles of Newtown. And I made my statements long before the media even picked up on it.
‘I tend to believe that children probably did die there. But then you look at all the other evidence on the other side. I can see how other people believe that nobody died there.’
Kelly also interviewed Neil Heslin whose six-year-old son was killed in the massacre.
‘You know, it’s disrespectful to me where in fact I did lose my son… And the 26 other families lost somebody. And I take that very personal,’ he told Kelly of the hoax claims made by Jones.
She asked Heslin what he would say to Jones, especially given the interview was to air on Father’s Day.
‘I think he’s blessed to have his children to spend the day with, to speak to. I don’t have that,’ he said.
Kelly started the show on Sunday night addressing the widespread controversy surrounding the pre-taped interview with the Infowars host
While she was criticised, Kelly was also applauded for the interview, which Jones had earlier tried to discredit as a hit piece
Critics lashed out at Kelly and NBC on Sunday night following the episode and the decision to air it on Father’s Day.
‘This is your Father’s Day episode? Disgusting. Shame on you. You know it’s wrong. Face your own children and defend this demon and his bile,’ one wrote.
Another said: ‘Imagine losing your child and then having to deal with Father’s Day while Megyn Kelly & NBC profit off you.’
‘Does this make you feel good @megynkelly ? You will be remembered & hated for this. You only have yourself to blame,’ another wrote.
But many more applauded the interview, which Jones had earlier tried to discredit as a hit piece.
The rest of Kelly’s interview touched on Jones downplaying his connection with Donald Trump and covered topics like the recent terror attack in Manchester, England.
‘I think my influence on Trump is way, way lower than what (mainstream media) has said,’ he said, adding that he and the president were ‘friendly,’ but not friends.
Jones called the victims of the Manchester attack ‘liberal trendies, the same people – God love them – on average who are promoting open borders, bringing Islamists in’.
When Kelly noted one of the victims was just an 8-year-old girl, Jones said the mainstream media ‘misinterpreted’ his comments.
‘The media misrepresenting and clipping that the way you did. I got home at, like, 6, heard about it. The ages of the victims weren’t even known. But they were saying it was jihadi. And I said, ‘How crazy is it that liberal trendies are now the victims?’ And then I start going and looking.
‘Of course, if there’s kids being killed by Muslims, I’m not saying that it’s their fault. Of course, if kids are the victims, I’m not saying it’s their fault.’
The rest of Kelly’s interview touched on Jones downplaying his connection with Donald Trump and covered topics like the recent terror attack in Manchester, England
NBC’s Connecticut station WVIT refused to air the controversial interview on Sunday night. The station serves an area that includes Newtown, the city in which the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting took place in 2012.
In an internal memo obtained by The Associated Press, NBC Connecticut staff members were told station executives made the decision after listening to concerns from employees, Sandy Hook families and viewers and considering ‘the deep emotions from the wounds of that day that have yet to heal.’
As the backlash continued, Kelly was fired from her post as host of the Sandy Hook Promise charity’s annual gala.
Lawyers who represent 12 people who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook urged NBC News officials not to air the interview. NBC News Chairman Andy Lack told the Associated Press that the Jones story would be edited with its critics in mind.
Kelly opted to interview a parent of one of the shooting victims to help balance out the segment.
Jones started releasing secretly recorded audio of his interview with Kelly prior to the segment airing on NBC. He accused Kelly of conjuring up a hit piece on him, despite her telling him she wasn’t trying to create a segment that made him look foolish or dumb.
In the secret recordings, Kelly can be heard telling Jones how much she hopes to profile him rather than churn out a hit piece.
She went on to admit that he first came to her attention while he was battling with his ex-wife in court.
‘The reason you are interesting to me is because I followed your custody case and I think you had a very good point about the way the media was covering it,’ Kelly said.
‘And for some reason they treated you and your family as fair game, and they never would have done that with a mainstream-media figure.’
Kelly continued: ‘I saw a different side of you and you became very fascinating to me. Your comments during the trial just reminded me you are just like anybody and I thought that would be an interesting story to tell.’
Jones later said he knew the whole thing was a lie and that Kelly was the first journalist he has recorded.
‘I knew it was all a lie. I said, ‘Sandy Hook happened,’ and she wouldn’t even put it in the promo pieces. So we’re going to release, oh yeah, we’re going to release the pre-interview. And then when they put their fraud out on Sunday, which I’ve asked them not to air because they’re misrepresenting who I am and saying I’m as bad as Saddam Hussein, or Jeffrey Dahmer, or Charles Manson.’