The Slatest

The Fox News-Donald Trump War Is Back On

Donald Trump fields a question during the first Republican presidential debate hosted by Fox News on Aug. 6, 2015.

Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

So much for the truce between Fox News and Donald Trump.

The GOP front-runner ended the cease-fire Monday when he did some late-night trolling of Megyn Kelly, the Fox News host who was the target of his Trumpian tantrum following the first GOP debate earlier this month. (The lowlight of that fit was his apparent suggestion that it wasn’t Kelly but instead Kelly’s hormones that was behind the tough questions he faced that night.) As CNN points out, several of Fox News’ on-air personalities came to Kelly’s defense Tuesday morning in what looked like a coordinated effort by the conservative network. That defense then turned into a united front Tuesday afternoon when Fox News chief Roger Ailes got in on the action:

Earlier this month The Donald spent the four days after the first presidential debate whining that Kelly and her Fox News colleagues had treated him unfairly by grilling him on everything from his history of making misogynistic comments to his failure to present evidence for his claim that the Mexican government is intentionally sending criminals to the United States.

That spat temporarily ended when Ailes reportedly reached out to him to mend fences. According to New York magazine’s Gabriel Sherman, Ailes felt he had no choice but to make peace given the early returns from the debate suggested that many of his network’s viewers were on Trump’s side. But now that the Republican hopeful is back to throwing punches at Fox, Ailes seemingly felt obligated to at least put up his gloves.

It’s unclear why Trump would choose to restart this fight. He remains the clear-cut leader in the GOP polls, and has never really been in danger of ceding the national spotlight since he jumped into the race earlier this summer. Still, looking for logic in Trump’s political maneuvering is probably a fool’s errand. The belligerent billionaire is currently having his moment and, for now at least, it’s unlikely that even Fox News can change that.