"Many times," Kelly responded.
"Oouf, okay," Trump said. And then: "Excuse me."
Then came an awkward laugh from the candidate. Kelly tried to ask another question, but Trump cut in with a defense of his actions.
"Not the most horrible thing," Trump said. "Over your life, Megyn, you've been called a lot worse. Is that right? Wouldn't you say? You know, you've had a life that has not been that easy."
"It's not about me," Kelly said. "It's not about me. It's about the messaging to young girls and to other women."
If there's one thing that Trump does not do, it's apologize — for anything, even comments or tweets he later admits were not in the best taste. (That's a list that seems to include two retweets from August that called Kelly a "bimbo" and this tweet from January: "I refuse to call Megyn Kelly a bimbo, because that would not be politically correct. Instead I will only call her a lightweight reporter!')
Now that he's the likely Republican nominee, Trump has said that he's trying to show voters that he's an upstanding human being and not the sort of guy who would do the horrible things that the media has accused him of doing, like imitating a physical handicap of a well-respected journalist or demeaning women. This much-hyped interview with Kelly provided Trump with a series of opportunities to apologize to some of those who have been at the receiving end of his meanest insults. He sheepishly grinned or gently defended his way through all of them.
Kelly asked Trump if he made any mistakes on the campaign trail, noting that he had previously admitted that it was a mistake to tweet side-by-side photos featuring an unflattering shot of the wife of Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Tex.) and a glamorous one of his super-model wife. Trump corrected her: "Well, I said: 'I could have done without it,' to be exact."
"Well, you said 'a mistake,'" Kelly said. "Are you walking that back?"
"No, no, I'm not walking it back," Trump said. "But I actually didn't say it that way. I said: 'I could have done without it.'"
"But it was a mistake, wasn't it?" Kelly said. "You shouldn't have done that, right?"
Trump wouldn't say and instead made the case that Cruz's wife was fair game because she played such a visible role in his campaign, and he explained that retweeting the comments of others has gotten him into trouble and is "really more of a killer than the tweets."
Kelly went ahead and labeled the tweet about Cruz's wife a mistake, then listed two of Trump's other comments that might be similarly labeled: Mocking Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) for being captured during the Vietnam War and criticizing the facial features of former Republican rival Carly Fiorina.
"But do you regret any of those comments?" Kelly asked.
"Uh, yeah, I guess so," Trump said, "but you have to go forward. You make a mistake, you go forward. And, you know, you can correct the mistake but to look back and say: 'Gee whiz, I wish I didn't do this or that,' I don't think that's good.... In a certain way, I don't even think that's healthy."