A Sandy Hook memorial organization has removed NBC News’s Megyn Kelly as host of its upcoming gala following news of her controversial yet-to-be-aired interview with conspiracy theorist and talk show host Alex Jones.
Jones has claimed that the 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children and six adults dead was a hoax.
Kelly, a former Fox News anchor, recently shared a preview of her upcoming interview with the InfoWars host on Twitter. The interview is scheduled to air Sunday. In the preview, Kelly pressed Jones on his claim:
— Megyn Kelly (@megynkelly) June 11, 2017
After the preview of the interview became available, Sandy Hook Promise, a group that works to prevent gun violence, said in a news release that it has decided to disinvite Kelly as host of the upcoming Promise Champions Gala.
“Sandy Hook Promise cannot support the decision by Megyn or NBC to give any form of voice or platform to Alex Jones and have asked Megyn Kelly to step down as our Promise Champion Gala host,” Nicole Hockley, co-founder and managing director of Sandy Hook Promise, said in a statement. “It is our hope that Megyn and NBC reconsider and not broadcast this interview.”
In a statement, Kelly said that she respects the Sandy Hook Promise’s decision, but she is "of course disappointed that I won't be there to support them."
Kelly’s decision to interview Jones spurred criticism from some who argued that Jones shouldn’t be given a bigger platform.
Kelly said that she finds Jones's “suggestion that Sandy Hook was 'a hoax' as personally revolting as every other rational person does," but defended her decision to interview him.
"It left me, and many other Americans, asking the very question that prompted this interview: how does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and a growing audience of millions?" Kelly said.
Kelly argued that President Donald Trump has praised Jones, has appeared on Jones' show, and that Infowars was granted White House press credentials.
"Our goal in sitting down with him was to shine a light — as journalists are supposed to do — on this influential figure, and yes — to discuss the considerable falsehoods he has promoted with near impunity," Kelly said.
Jones later claimed on his program that Kelly was "misrepresenting" his views on the massacre, and has called for NBC to pull the interview.
In addition to arguing that the Sandy Hook tragedy was "completely fake," Jones has claimed that the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks were an inside job.