Megyn Kelly, host of The Kelly File on Fox News and author or the new book Settle for More, joined Glenn on radio today for an enlightening conversation about her all-American values and how she views adversity as an opportunity.
"It's a pretty incredible story," Glenn said.
In particular, Megyn told Glenn about an experience in 7th grade that both scarred and shaped her.
"You can learn a lot about life in the seventh grade," Megyn said.
Read below or watch the clip for answers to these questions:
• How did a group of 7th grade girls make Megyn Kelly feel loneliness and deep sadness?
• What dawned on her about Trump's relentless attacks?
• Why did Megyn Kelly called Glenn "a gentleman throughout?"
• What torrent of threats were unleashed after the now infamous debate question?
• What's Megyn Kelly's blueprint for beating bullies?
Below is a rush transcript of this segment, it might contain errors:
GLENN: Welcome to the program, Megyn Kelly. How are you, Megyn?
MEGYN: Hi, Glenn, it's great to be here.
GLENN: Thank you. Shoot. We have a horrible connection. Can we play with that as we talk?
Megyn, I haven't read your book yet. Just came out yesterday. Just got it actually this morning. Have thumbed through it. Have read some excerpts from it. It's a pretty incredible story. And you're ruffling some feathers right now in several areas.
Can we start with Donald Trump? And tell me if I have this story right -- and this is what you wrote in the book or not.
GLENN: The Donald Trump story, if I may share a story -- I was on your show one day when you were in lockdown, may I go farther than this? Do you remember this?
MEGYN: Keep going.
GLENN: Okay. And you were having significant security issues.
GLENN: And real death threats. Your family was under attack. And you had never seen anything about it. And I was I think maybe in Iowa or Nebraska. And I was waiting for you to come into the studio. You were about an hour late. And we had a conversation, and it was a quite frightening time in your life.
GLENN: Do you want to talk about that at all?
MEGYN: Well, I mean -- look, let me just start with this. This book, Settle for More, is about my life and my values, which I think are not just mine, but American values -- at least, used to be. Right? I don't know about today's day and age and these kids.
But one of the things that you see throughout the book is that I think adversity is an opportunity to grow and become stronger. And I can certainly say that my year of Trump, as I describe it in the book, has done that for me.
And it has been a difficult year in many ways. I mean, in particular, the security scares were bad. And clearly unacceptable. No journalist should have to go through that just to cover a candidate.
GLENN: Nobody should.
MEGYN: But I dealt with it. And I think I actually now have a bit of a blueprint for others in how to deal with it. And I hope when people close this book, they will understand that, you know, I think you can grow if hard times come your way. And it's an opportunity to evolve. And as far as Trump and I go, I think we're in a better place now.
GLENN: May I pursue this because of what was printed in the New York Times of what you wrote. And, again, I'm sorry. I have not read the book. I just got it this morning.
MEGYN: Stan Burgos (phonetic).
GLENN: Yeah. I know.
The New York Times spun this as what you were saying in the book was you knew no one was going to come to your rescue, no one was standing by you. I don't necessarily want to get into this, but I have been shocked and horrified at the way you have been treated by several people. And no one stood by you. But you -- the New York Times made it seem that no one was going to stand up for you, and so you had to solve it. And basically, the way I read it from the Times is you had to go kiss his ring and make it go away and make it stop.
MEGYN: So that's not exactly right. I did have people stand up for me. And just so your listeners know, you were one of them. And this is, I'm sure, knowing you, not something you talk about, but just so everybody knows, Glenn would write me the kindest, most supportive, uplifting messages in the darkest days that offered to help and offered to do anything he could. And expressed, of course, genuine concern. And just, you were such a gentleman throughout, Glenn, and I just want to make a record of that to people.
GLENN: Thank you, Megyn.
MEGYN: But what had happened with Trump was he was relentless. You know, he just couldn't let it go. And the book documents how in the initial days after that August debate, I understood he was angry. And I -- I understood why. It was definitely a tough question for him. I don't regret it, but he was new to the game. All these other guys were seasoned politicians, and he's up there like, "Hey, I'm here to get you ratings," and then it's all of a sudden a punch of the face. And he's like, "What the hell is that?" Right?
So I understood his initial anger. But I didn't really understand how he couldn't let it go.
My point is, Roger Ailes did try to stand Trump down many times, but he was unsuccessful. And Sean Hannity, who is tight with Trump, tried to stand Trump down many times, but he was unsuccessful. Hannity was successful in getting some more talk radio guys sort of, you know, not gin up so much hatred at a time when I was under serious threat and I was, you know, having to live my life with bodyguards, which is not how a journalist normally lives or should have to live.
And so I did have some support. But it just wasn't working. You know, it was like, they were trying, but it wasn't working.
And after nine months of it, Glenn -- and the book sort of documents how just every time I would think it was over, it wasn't over. And I'm not just talking about nasty tweets. We've all been subjected to that. I'm a big girl. I can take that. It was the torrent of nastiness that those would unleash in my life and of threats, I mean, real security threats. And people coming to my home, and on my doorstep threatening and screaming obscenities at me on the street in front of my children. And not being able to go anywhere without an armed guard, including Disney World. I mean, it's just like, what the hell is going on here because of a debate question?
So in April, if memory serves, of 2016, it dawned on me that Trump was never going to let this go. That he was enjoying the story line and that, that meant it would be up to me to write an ending to it. And I knew if I could in front of him, he would stop.
And there was no apology. I mean, I wasn't -- he wanted an apology from me for my debate question. That wasn't happening. I didn't want an apology from him. But we had always had a good relationship. So I knew if I could get in there, sit down with him and just talk, we would be okay and he would stop. And that's what happened.
GLENN: There is a theme that is going on in the country today, and it's whether or not -- you know, we for years have been told for years to stop bullying. And what that meant in the past was, "No, kids, you cannot play dodgeball anymore because you might get hit in the face." There's a difference between the bullying that has been -- you know, that the left has been saying has happened and real bullying.
GLENN: And you have -- have seen your share of it, as, you know, the bullying that was happening with Donald Trump, the bullying that was happening with Roger Ailes. And it seems as though the country doesn't necessarily care all that much on either side. Is that right? Is that how you're feeling?
MEGYN: Well, first of all, I know that you have experienced this yourself because there's just something about the way some of Trump's supporters marched to the beat of his drum, that whenever he sends out a negative message about somebody, it really does wreak havoc in that person's life. And I haven't seen a lot of people talk about it.
Erick Erickson has written about it. You know, he got some just terrible death threats to his family. And I know you've been subjected to some of that too, just for being a Trump critic. Which is -- this is America. We have dissenting points of view. We as journalists are supposed to be skeptical in our coverage.
But, yes, I do draw a distinction though between bullying, which my book, Settle for More, talks all about. I have had real experience with. I had a brutal seventh grade year, in which my group of friends all turned against me. And I was in tears for much of the year and very, very alone with no friends. And it was hard. You know, this was 1983 when you didn't have helicopter parents intervening at every turn. But it does teach you a thing or too
GLENN: Why did they turn against you at seventh --
MEGYN: Who the hell knows?
GLENN: Why was that an important story to tell?
MEGYN: Well, first of all, who knows, right? These are 12-year-old girls who are just -- who can be the meanest some B's you ever -- terrible.
GLENN: I have to tell you, I have found that women -- some of the meanest tweets, some of the meanest Facebook posts, and some of the meanest emails I've received, I'll read them and say, "This guy is out of control." And it will be signed by a woman.
GLENN: I mean, women are nasty at times.
MEGYN: Yeah. We can give as good as we get.
GLENN: Ooh. And then some.
MEGYN: And, you know, it all begins in the seventh grade, Glenn. You can learn a lot about life in the seventh grade.
You know, in the book, I tell this story about -- take a step back on the bullying. But in the book, I tell the story about how it culminated in -- because I used to be popular. And then suddenly one day, this group, they just turned on me, and I had no friends.
And they would, you know, flick the spitballs at me and try to trip me in the hall. I used to be overweight. I used to have bad skin. They would make fun of every vulnerability.
JEFFY: Me too.
GLENN: Wow. Boy, must be fun --
MEGYN: One day I was at home. It was a Saturday night. The most popular girl was having a big party, and I was home alone with my parents.
And my phone rang. I said, "Hello." And she said, "You know, it's me." She said, "Do you know where all the people are from my party?" And I said, "No." And they all screamed into the phone, "We're here."
GLENN: Oh, my gosh.
MEGYN: And they hung up. I hung up the phone in front of my parents who didn't know what had just happened. I lied and told them it was a wrong number.
And I went out in my backyard, which had iced over. This is upstate New York, Albany, suburb. And there was snow on the ground that had iced over. And my sneakers -- I went out there, Glenn. I put my hands in my pockets, and I sort of skated across the ice in the darkness, with tears streaming down my face. And I can remember it to this day, you know, just that feeling of ostracization and loneliness and just deep sadness and the desire to connect and feel like you belong. And so, you know, those scars they take a long time to heal.
And the truth is, it took me some 20 years before I had even realized what they had done to me, what that year had done to me as a person. So I do take bullying very seriously.
And when Donald Trump began to act up -- again, in the initial phases, it's like, "Okay. It's a politician that's unhappy with me. I'm experienced in that." But when it was so relentless -- I knew I was not going to submit. You know, actual bullying is intimidation designed to get a certain effect, you know, to have a certain effect.
MEGYN: They're looking for compliance, right? To -- to cow you.
And Donald Trump never managed to do that with me. I -- I covered him without fear of favor, every day of that campaign. And so I feel like it was an attempt at bullying, but not an actual bullying, right? Because there was no submission.
But I will say this, when I came out of the bullying, and over the years in thinking about it, I did realize that in dealing with the bully in general, the best course is to send the bully a message that he's nothing to you, right? That there's a good me when you raise a child, the bad me. If you don't pay positive attention to your child, he'll act out badly. And if you don't pay attention to that, the worst thing that you could do to a child is send them the not me message. And I think when you're dealing with a bully, the not me message is the best message you can send. And I think it really irritated Donald Trump over the months that I would not respond to him. But I think that's a proven course for how to handle, as an adult, someone who is trying to push you around.
GLENN: Megyn, I have talked to several people who have expressed the feeling of, "This is not the ending." And it has nothing to do with Donald Trump. It has everything to do with the way our society is going. And the economy and world affairs, if we don't turn a corner here.
GLENN: And the people who are saying, "I want to stand, but it's lonely. It is really, really lonely. And I don't know if I can do it."
GLENN: What have you learned from truly standing almost alone, or you had to have felt pretty alone even though you did have some people back -- I'm glad to hear that some of the Fox people were backing you behind the scenes?
MEGYN: Well, I don't define myself by applicant or this job or just my identity as a news anchor. And that's been key to everything for me. And, you know, in this book, you know, I talk about what -- what -- a piece of advice that was given to me long ago by one of my first law bosses, when I was practicing law, which was, "In times of trouble, remember who you are."
And what does that mean?
It means, what defines you? You know, who are you? Am I Megyn Kelly news anchor? Well, that's something I do, but it's not who I am.
You know, I'm -- I'm a woman. I'm a person, a woman, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister. You know, those are the things when I think about who I am, I think about those people who made me those things. And the influence they've had in my life. And the times we've shared together and the laughter and the tears. And those are the things that are important to me. And that if I ever were, God forbid, to lose would change who I am, you know, would deeply affect me in ways I couldn't change back, not not this job, not, you know, who is even in the Oval Office, Glenn.
And I think that people should hold on to that, because they can try to bully you. They can say mean things about you. But they can't change your soul unless you let them.
And for me, I feel like, you hold on to your integrity, you hold on to your ethics and who you are, which, of course, is what you do behind closed doors when no one is looking. And you hold on to what you hold most dear in this world. And those things don't tend to change. And they certainly aren't dictated by the internet or anything anybody says in a public forum. And you'll be good. You know, just keep redirecting yourself to that stuff, remembering who you are, and you'll be good.
GLENN: The name of the book is Settle for More by Megyn Kelly. It is out today. Megyn, I would like to read the back and then when things slow down for you, I would like to have you back and talk a little more because I think you are one of the more fascinating people in the media today and somebody who actually really tries to be fair and to get it right. And I appreciate that.
MEGYN: Thanks, Glenn.
GLENN: Megyn, thank you. We'll talk to you again. Settle for More is the name of the book by Megyn Kelly. Back in just a second.
Featured Image: FOX news host Megyn Kelly looks on during the Republican Presidential debate sponsored by Fox News at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa on January 28, 2016. (Photo Credit: JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)