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Donald Trump, Megyn Kelly war resumes after her return from vacation

Donald Trump and Fox News Channel host and moderator Megyn Kelly during the first Republican presidential debate earlier this month. (John Minchillo/AP)

A war begun at the first Republican presidential debate earlier this month may have seen a cease-fire when one of the combatants left the field. But now that Megyn Kelly of Fox News is back from vacation, Republican front-runner Donald Trump has wasted no time taking aim and firing.

“I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly,” Trump tweeted Monday evening. “Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!”

Kelly’s vacation came after her contentious exchanges with Trump over his comments about women at the debate. Kelly said Trump had referred to women as “dogs” and “fat pigs”; Trump said he thought “the big problem this country has is being politically correct.” He later criticized Kelly’s work as moderator, saying there was “blood coming out of her wherever,” which some read as a veiled reference to menstruation. Trump denied that — but rumors circulated that Kelly had, more or less, fled “The Kelly File” after the high-profile dust-up.

So, Monday night, with claws out on social media, Trump got a few good digs in after Kelly’s interview with Cornel West.

“@megynkelly must have had a terrible vacation, she is really off her game,” he wrote. “Was afraid to confront Dr. Cornel West. No clue on immigration!”

Trump also offered a choice retweet of a post that referred to Kelly as a “bimbo.”

Businessman and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump continues to defend himself after his controversial comments about Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly. (Video: Alice Li/The Washington Post)

Earlier this month, Fox denied that Kelly’s time off was related to Trump.

“Perhaps Mr. Trump thinks it’s advantageous to his poll numbers to keep talking about Megyn, but that doesn’t change the fact that Roger Ailes has fully supported her and her tough journalistic questioning since day one and is thrilled with the added exposure from the debate which resulted in even higher ratings of ‘The Kelly File’ this week,” Fox said in a statement, as the Hollywood Reporter noted.

Nor did Kelly directly mention Trump in announcing her time off.

“Well, it’s been an interesting week and a long six months without a vacation for yours truly,” Kelly said on Aug. 12. “So I’ll be taking the next week and a half off, spending some time with my husband and my kids trying to relax.”

For her part, Kelly seemed to take aim at Trump on Twitter Monday night as well.

Kelly also posted a critique of Trump’s proposals via former Florida governor Jeb Bush, a rival of Trump’s for the nomination.

“Gov. @JebBush: @realDonaldTrump’s immigration ideas are “unrealistic” and not ‘conservative,'” Kelly tweeted.