Jun 16, 2017

Alex Jones releases secretly-recorded audio of Megyn Kelly

AP

Megyn Kelly's highly-anticipated interview with Alex Jones is set to air this Sunday, but last night Jones (the far-right host of InfoWars.com) released audio recordings of their pre-interview calls that could complicate things for Kelly, per The Daily Beast.

One quick thing: Jones' issues with Kelly's interview seems to focus on the promo trailer only, not the actual interview, which hasn't aired yet. That could include the bits from their conversation that Jones believes were purposely left out, but we won't know until Sunday.

The promo teaser for their NBC interview, Jones argues, is misleading about their conversation. He has made multiple controversial claims and conspiracy theories about events like the Sandy Hook shooting, but he said that Kelly didn't include a crucial part of their talk in this trailer — ultimately contradicting her reassurance to Jones:

"If I ask you about any controversy, you'll have the chance to address it fully. We won't cut you in a way that is going to take out the heart of your explanation or the real substance of it."

Why it matters: Kelly just started her new job at NBC and this Sunday's interview will be only her second show with the network. She's already received backlash for giving Jones more exposure on a primetime network, and families of Sandy Hook victims are urging NBC to drop the interview all together.

What they're saying: An NBC spokesperson tells Axios: "Despite Alex Jones' efforts to distract from and ultimately prevent the airing of our report, we remain committed to giving viewers context and insight into a controversial and polarizing figure, how he relates to the president of the United States and influences others, and to getting this serious story right."

Money quote:

"I'm not looking to portray you as some kind of boogeyman," Kelly says at one point to Jones. "The craziest thing of all would be if some people who have this insane version of you in their heads came away saying, 'You know what? I see the dad in him. I see the guy who loves those kids and is more complex than we have been led to believe.'"

One big question: Was it even legal for Jones to privately record their phone conversations, especially across state lines? "I've never done this in 22 years, I've never recorded another journalist, but I knew it was a fraud, that it was a lie," Jones said.

Go deeper

World coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Axios Visuals

New Zealand has only eight active novel coronavirus cases and no COVID-19 patients in hospital after another day of zero new infections. However, the death toll rose to 22.

Zoom in: A top health official told a briefing a 96-year-old woman "was regarded to having recovered from COVID-19 at the time of her death, and COVID-19 is not recorded as the primary cause of her death on her death certificate." But it was decided to include her in the overall tally of deaths related to the virus.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,690,951 — Total deaths: 355,575 — Total recoveries — 2,350,071Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,699,073 — Total deaths: 100,396 — Total recoveries: 391,508 — Total tested: 15,192,481Map.
  3. Public health: CDC issues guidelines for reopening officesFauci says data is "really quite evident" against hydroxychloroquine.
  4. States: California hospitals strained by patients in MexicoTexas Supreme Court blocks mail-in expansion to state voters.
  5. Business: MGM plans to reopen major Las Vegas resorts in June — African American business owners have seen less relief from PPP, Goldman Sachs says.
  6. Tech: AI will help in the pandemic — but it might not be in time for this one.
  7. World: EU proposes a massive pandemic rescue package.
  8. 1 🎶 thing: Local music venues get rocked by coronavirus.
  9. 🎧 Podcast: Trump vs. Twitter ... vs. Trump.
  10. What should I do? When you can be around others after contracting the coronavirus — Traveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  11. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

U.S. coronavirus updates

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios. This graphic includes "probable deaths" that New York City began reporting on April 14.

More than 100,000 Americans have died of the coronavirus, according to data from Johns Hopkins — a milestone that puts the death toll far beyond some of the most tragic events in U.S. history.

By the numbers: Over 1.6 million have tested positive in the U.S. Nearly 354,000 Americans have recovered and over 15.1 million tests have been conducted. California became the fourth state with at least 100,000 reported cases of the coronavirus on Wednesday, along with Illinois, New Jersey and New York.