'Alex Jones isn't going away,' NBC's Megyn Kelly says in defending interview

Television journalist Megyn Kelly and Alex Jones

Deadline reports that per early ratings reports, 3.5 million people watched the episode of Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly, making it the lowest viewership her new Sunday show has received in its short run.

She has defended her decision by noting that his influence has grown with the rise of President Donald Trump, who has praised Jones and appeared on his radio program.

Jones said at one point that he was playing "devil's advocate" in denying the mass shooting. But he added that he remained skeptical after he "watched the footage" of children leaving the building.

When Kelly pressed Jones about his claim that the Sandy Hook massacre, which resulted in the deaths of 20 children and six adults, was "fake", the InfoWars host never actually disavowed his comments.

Although many called for Kelly and NBC not to run the interview with Jones (including Jones himself), the reaction after the segment aired was quite mixed.

Now, Jones said, "I tend to believe that children probably did die there". But then you look at all the other evidence on the other side.

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Washington Post columnist Margaret Sullivan also noted the editing of the interview on her Twitter account.

Those numbers were practically even with last week's episode, in which Kelly interviewed Fox sideline reporter Erin Andrews, and down sharply from her June 4 debut episode, which featured an interview with Russian president Vladimir Puttin and drew 6.1 million viewers. In the conversation, Kelly was heard promising she would not portray him as "some kind of boogeyman".

Lawyers who represent 12 people who lost loved ones at Sandy Hook urged NBC News officials not to air the interview. The two frequently interrupted each other as Kelly kept asking if he would admit to his wrongdoing and a visibly tense Jones kept deflecting her questions, blaming the media for distorting his remarks or veering between acknowledging and disputing the tragedy.

Long-running CBS newsmagazine "60 Minutes" easily beat out the former Fox New anchor with 5.3 million viewers, even though the story selection was hardly at attention-grabbing - the program ran stories on first responders in war-torn Syria, chess-playing teens in rural MS and how small, cash-starved countries are effectively selling citizenship for revenue.

Throughout the week leading up to Sunday's airing of the interview, Jones had been busy whipping up conspiracy theories that NBC and Kelly would misrepresent him and make him look bad.

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