Megyn Kelly is defending her upcoming interview with Infowars’ Alex Jones amid criticism that she is giving a platform to a conspiracy theorist who has called the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School a hoax.
“POTUS’s been on and praises Alex Jones’ show,” Kelly tweeted, hours after she previewed the interview on her show on Sunday. “He’s giving Infowars a press credential. Many don’t know him; our job is to shine a light.” She called the interview a “riveting exchange.”
Nelba Marquez-Greene, whose daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook shootings, said on Twitter that “Promoting this fool is bad news. Do not encourage his abuse.”
“To give a man like this such a platform normalizes behavior that isn’t normal. How do I explain this to my son?” she wrote in a series of tweets.
She also wrote that in “Megyn Kelly’s America, cruelty gets you on national TV on Father’s Day. Sandy Hook grieving dads will go to the cemetery.”
Family members of other victims that day also expressed their anger over the segment. Parents of the victims have been harassed by those who subscribe to Jones’ conspiracy theory, and some even directed tweets at Marquez-Greene after she criticized plans for the interview.
Cristina Hassinger, whose mother was killed in the tragedy, wrote, “This piece of actual garbage encourages people to call my mom’s death a hoax and harass other Sandy Hook families. Shame on you @megynkelly.”
The family of Victoria Leigh Soto, a teacher killed at Sandy Hook, wrote on Facebook, “This incessant need for ratings at the cost of the emotional well-being of our family is disgusting and disappointing. You should be ashamed of yourselves for allowing this behavior. We hope you never are subjected to the kind of torture that Alex Jones and his followers inflict on us.”
Chelsea Clinton also tweeted about the interview, writing, “There is no justification for amplifying lies (or a liar), particularly about unimaginable tragedy. I hope no parent, no person watches this.”
On a radio show in 2015, Jones called the Sandy Hook tragedy “synthetic, completely fake with actors” and a “manufactured incident.”
Trump has praised Jones and appeared on his show in December of 2015.
Kelly’s interview is scheduled to air on Sunday on her new NBC newsmagazine, “Sunday Night.” A spokesman for NBC News did not immediately return a request for comment.
In a clip of the interview with Jones, Kelly asks him about being called “the most paranoid man in America.”
He denies it. “A paranoid person will be hiding in their house, not venturing out in public,” he tells her.
She then runs through a series of conspiracy theories. When she brings up Sandy Hook, he says, “I have had debates where, we devil’s advocates have said the whole story is true, and then I have had debates where I have said, that none of it is true.”
She then notes that parents get angry with the suggestion that they faked their childrens’ deaths.
“But they don’t get angry about the half million dead Iraqis from the sanctions. They don’t get angry about immigration,” Jones says.
Kelly, then, calls his answer a “dodge.”
Jones protests that it was a “dodge,” and says, “looked at all the angles of Newtown, and I made my statements long before the media even picked up on it. We didn’t get any of the real important stuff.”
Update: Jones is calling on Kelly to pull the interview for “misrepresenting my views on Sandy Hook.”