Megyn Kelly spoke to House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy in an exclusive interview this week about the letter he sent to ABC News demanding answers about why the network didn't air a 2015 story involving alleged child sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein.
In her explosive sit-down McCarthy blasts the network and questions its obligations when it comes to reporting duties, especially concerning Epstein, who committed suicide behind bars in August while awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges.
"He Epstein may go down in history as one of the biggest pedophiles around the world so I would take from ABC's point of view I would want to make sure you never make this mistake," said McCarthy. "I think you would take these questions and want to answer them."
The politician's controversial letter, obtained exclusively by Kelly, stems from a leaked video on Project Veritas about Epstein and featuring Robach, an ABC News anchor, who claims three years ago she had the shamed financier's story — including photos, videos and interviews with an alleged victim — but the network shut it down.
"I've had this interview with Virginia Roberts," Robach, 46, said of the alleged Epstein victim during a hot mic moment earlier this year. "We would not put it on the air. I was told 'Who's Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.'"
"I'm so pissed right now," the anchor added in the clip. "There will come a day when we will realize Jeffrey Epstein was the most prolific pedophile this country has ever known. I had it all, three years ago."
In McCarthy's letter to the network he said: "When it comes to human sex trafficking — especially against minors the United States— Congress has taken aggressive bipartisan action to stop such atrocities. This work has successfully shut down traffic in marketplaces and has provided victims support and recourse to serve justice."
Kelly and McCarthy discussed if the network had an obligation to alert authorities of the information and he admits he will push for congressional hearings on the subject if ABC doesn't respond to his letter. But added that he'd like to "work with" ABC.
"News organizations don't have a duty to report," Kelly said. "They may have a duty not to report if they can't shore it up with the appropriate sources."
"She Robach had a victim who had pictures, she spent a lot of time at it, and then someone told her not to," McCarthy replied. "But she also talks about outside influence. That maybe they might not get an interview somewhere else if they ran this story."
Kelly asked, "What business is it of yours as the House Minority leader to push ABC News to explain his editorial business?"
McCarthy explained he is not asking to look into their editorial requirements.
"Now, when I see a person who works at ABC... to say she Robach how to story three years ago of a known pedophile who is already pleaded guilty to soliciting a minor for prostitution," McCarthy said. "And somehow there's been undue influence? I don't know that there is, but it's worth asking the question."
The alleged leaker was once thought to be Emmy-winning producer for "CBS This Morning," Ashley Bianco, who previously worked at ABC. She told Kelly in another sit-down interview that she did not have anything to do with the controversial clip making headlines. The actual leaker has also come forward anonymously on the Project Veritas website to clear Bianco. Project Veritas founder James O'Keefe has also confirmed that Bianco was not the source of the leak.
After the video surfaced, Robach released this statement: "As a journalist, as the Epstein story continued to unfold last summer, I was caught in a private moment of frustration," she said. "I was upset that an important interview I had conducted with Virginia Roberts didn't air because we could not obtain sufficient corroborating evidence to meet ABC's editorial standards about her allegations.
"The interview itself, while I was disappointed it didn't air, didn't meet our standards. In the years since no one ever told me or the team to stop reporting on Jeffrey Epstein, and we have continued to aggressively pursue this important story."
ABC also released a statement: "At the time, not all of our reporting met our standards to air, but we have never stopped investigating the story. Ever since we've had a team on this investigation and substantial resources dedicated to it. That work has led to a two-hour documentary and 6-part podcast network error in the new year."
A day after Kelly's exclusive interview, as Radar reported, two prison guards who were tasked with guarding Epstein have been arrested in connection to his death by allegedly falsifying records indicating the required checks of inmates on the night Epstein killed himself by hanging.
ABC did not respond to a request for comment.