Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House, and the Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly got into a televised tiff on Tuesday night in which he accused her of being “fascinated with sex” for her reporting on allegations of unwanted advances and groping by the Republican presidential nominee, Donald J. Trump.
The bizarre exchange played out toward the end of an interview on Ms. Kelly’s news program, “The Kelly File.”
The discussion turned from who was ahead in the polls — Mr. Trump or the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton — when Mr. Gingrich, a Republican and staunch supporter of Mr. Trump, accused Ms. Kelly and the news media of paying a disproportionate amount of attention to allegations by 10 women that Mr. Trump had forcibly kissed or groped them.
Mr. Gingrich questioned why a speech Mrs. Clinton had given in Brazil to a bank that had paid her $225,000 was not also worthy of coverage.
That was the start of a roughly two-minute exchange on live television that suddenly became less about the presidential candidates and more about a personal friction between Mr. Gingrich and Ms. Kelly.
“You are fascinated with sex and you don’t care about public policy,” he told Ms. Kelly.
Ms. Kelly: “Me? Really?”
Mr. Gingrich: “That’s what I get out of watching you tonight.”
Ms. Kelly: “You know what Mr. Speaker, I’m not fascinated by sex, but I am fascinated by the protection of women and understanding what we’re getting in the Oval Office and I think the American voters would like to know …”
Mr. Gingrich then began to talk about how Mrs. Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, would return to the White House “because you, after all, are worried about sexual predators,” an apparent allusion to Mr. Clinton’s affair with a White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.
“Listen, it’s not about me. It’s about the women and men of America,” Ms. Kelly replied. She said polls showed that voters were concerned about the allegations against Mr. Trump and believed they were an issue.
As the interview progressed, Mr. Gingrich turned to baiting Ms. Kelly.
“Do you want to comment on whether the Clinton ticket has a relationship to a sexual predator?” Mr. Gingrich said, adding: “I just want to hear you use the words, ‘Bill Clinton, sexual predator.’ I dare you. Say, ‘Bill Clinton, sexual predator.’”
Ms. Kelly said “excuse me” four times as he talked over her. She noted how her news program had covered the allegations of sexual abuse by Mr. Clinton.
“He’s not on the ticket,” Ms. Kelly said, referring to Mr. Clinton. “The polls also show the American public is less interested in the deeds of Hillary Clinton’s husband than they are in the deeds of the man who asks us to make him president, Donald Trump.”
With the remaining time allotted winding down, she continued: “We’re going to have to leave it at that and you can take your anger issues and spend some time working on them, Mr. Speaker. Thanks for being here.”
“And you too,” he said.
Correction: October 26, 2016
An earlier version of this article misspelled the given name of a Fox News anchor. She is Megyn Kelly, not Megan. The error was repeated in the headline.