Donald Trump's second public attack against Fox News host Megyn Kelly earned him sharp and public reubke from Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes Tuesday.
"Donald Trump's surprise and unprovoked attack on Megyn Kelly during her show last night is as unacceptable as it is disturbing," Ailes said in a statement that was first reported by Politico's Hadas Gold. "Megyn Kelly represents the very best of American journalism and all of us at FOX News Channel reject the crude and irresponsible attempts to suggest otherwise."
In response, Trump issued a statement saying, "I totally disagree with the FOX statement. I do not think Megyn Kelly is a quality journalist."
The Republican frontrunner launched into a Twitter tirade about Kelly during her Monday evening show. In addition to his own missives, he shared several other disparaging messages about Kelly - including one in which another user called her a "bimbo." (This is not the first time Trump has retweeted a message that used the term.)
Trump previously went after Kelly when he felt that he was unfairly questioned during the first Republican debate hosted by Fox News in early August. In describing Kelly he said, "There was blood coming out of her eyes, blood coming out of her wherever," a remark that got him uninvited from a conservative gathering in Atlanta.
Ailes also stood by Kelly after that attack, but said that he had a "blunt but cordial" conversation with Trump and "the air has been cleared."
It apparently didn't stay clear for long. In the most recent statement, Ailes said, "Donald Trump rarely apologizes, although in this case, he should. We have never been deterred by politicians or anyone else attacking us for doing our job, much less allowed ourselves to be bullied by anyone and we're certainly not going to start now."
Ailes wasn't the only critic. In an appearance on Fox News Radio, Trump's fellow presidential candidate, Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, said, "If you think Megyn Kelly is a bimbo, you're an idiot."
"When we attack someone like Megyn Kelly, who has the audacity to just make observations that are generally accurate, where is the leadership of the Republican Party?" Graham continued. " You can't tell him what to do but you have an obligation to tell people who we are...Is it ok to say the guy who called Megyn Kelly, by retweeting a tweet, a bimbo, is going to be a good nominee for this party? If that's ok, you better accept the consequences of that being ok because we are going to lose."
This article has been updated to include a past instance in which Trump retweeted a message that referred to Kelly as a "bimbo."