Fox News responds to Trump's attacks on Megyn Kelly

Donald Trump’s latest attacks against Fox News journalist Megyn Kelly are “beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate,” the network said in a statement Friday.

The Republican candidate, who first attacked Kelly in August for her hard-hitting questioning at a GOP debate, called for a boycott of the top-rated primetime cable news show “The Kelly File.” As with past social media insults directed at Kelly, Trump got personal, calling Kelly “sick” and “overrated.”

“Donald Trump’s vitriolic attacks against Megyn Kelly and his extreme, sick obsession with her is beneath the dignity of a presidential candidate who wants to occupy the highest office in the land,” Fox News said in a statement.

Kelly has declined to respond Trump’s tactics, even after Trump demanded that she be removed from the panel moderating Fox’s Republican debate in Iowa in January. After the network refused to bow to the demand, Trump skipped the debate and went on to finish second to Ted Cruz in the state’s caucuses.

“Megyn is an exemplary journalist and one of the leading anchors in America — we’re extremely proud of her phenomenal work and continue to fully support her throughout every day of Trump’s endless barrage of crude and sexist verbal assaults,” the Fox statement continued.

“As the mother of three young children, with a successful law career and the second highest rated show in cable news, it’s especially deplorable for her to be repeatedly abused just for doing her job.”

The question from Kelly that initially triggered Trump's temper at the August debate was one about prior statements in which the real estate developer called various women “fat pigs,” “slobs” and “disgusting animals.”

Trump quipped that he was referring only to Rosie O’Donnell.

Following that debate, Trump tweeted that Kelly was a “loser” and a “bimbo.” He also told another cable news network that Kelly had “blood coming out of her eyes—blood coming out of her whatever.”

Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told The Associated Press Friday evening in a statement that Trump considers Kelly to be “biased” against him.

“Megyn Kelly is a highly overrated reporter and anchor that constantly disparages Mr. Trump with negative and inaccurate reports,” Hicks also said in the statement.