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Megyn Kelly said she immediately detected Vladimir Putin’s attempts at “obvious manipulation” of her when the television journalist interviewed the Russian president four years ago.
Kelly made the remarks Wednesday during an episode of her SiriusXM podcast, “The Megyn Kelly Show,” which featured Russian chess champion and anti-Putin activist Garry Kasparov as a guest.
Kasparov, who was forced into exile after running against Putin in the presidential election, told Kelly that Putin “managed to charm his Western counterparts.”
“He used his KGB knowledge, I think the tricks were quite primitive but it did work,” said Kasparov, who has urged a forceful Western military response against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine.
Kasparov then recalled a conversation that Putin had with then-President George W. Bush in which the Russian leader tried to talk up his religious bona fides with the born-again Christian.
“The story that Putin told him, I believe invented, about him being baptized in the Soviet Union and wearing the cross given by the mother,” Kasparov said.
“Bush, a devoted Christian — he bought the story. It created a bond and we should give Putin credit, you know, he knew how to work with people.”
Kelly then recalled how Putin did the same thing to her.
“Even when I interviewed Putin and I spent a fair amount of time with him, in three separate sit-downs … One of the first things he said to me, and he knew I was the mother of three children, was how much his mother meant to him,” the former TV news star said.
Kelly said Putin highlighted the “close relationship he had with her.”
“It was an obvious manipulation,” she said.
In 2018, Kelly traveled to Moscow to speak to Putin as part of a primetime broadcast special on NBC, which hired the former Fox News star.
At the time, Donald Trump was president and Democrats and their supporters were still fuming over Putin’s alleged efforts to sink Hillary Clinton’s candidacy during the 2016 presidential election.
Kelly grilled Putin over claims by US intelligence officials that the Russian government waged a cyber campaign to interfere in the presidential election — an allegation that the Kremlin has denied.
Megyn Kelly explains how Vladimir Putin manipulated her – New York Post
April 9, 2022