"I didn't want to be in the snake pit. I just wanted to cover the news," Kelly says during "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" on Wednesday.
The lawyer-turned-TV journalist explained to Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday that she got into journalism because she "wanted to report the news." It was once she got to primetime cable that she realized "it was all political."
"Donald Trump has a way of clarifying one's life choices," Kelly said. "And that was true in my case, too. Just as I was wondering if this is where I wanted to be and how I wanted to live, the universe came and shown a light, and it was clear to me what I wanted to do."
During her 12 years at Fox, Kelly covered the Supreme Court and did legal commentary for the network.
"It wasn't until I got my job in prime time that the coverage became all political," she explained. "I was never a political person I wasn't raised in a political household, and it became clear to me that it wasn't what I wanted to do. That's not who I am."
Kelly said it was "Bill O'Reilly, of all people," who warned her that cable news prime time was a "snake pit."
"That's how it felt," she said. "And I didn't want to be in the snake pit. I just wanted to cover the news."
During Trump's Twitter tirade against the then-reporter, he urged Americans to "boycott" Kelly and her show.
"They did not, by the way," Kelly clarified. "My ratings only went up during my year of Trump."
"We knew he was going to behave this way," she noted. "However, at the beginning of his presidency, I said, 'Let's keep an open mind.'"
When DeGeneres asked Kelly if she'd have Trump as a guest on her new show, "Megyn Kelly Today," she said she would "not say no to the sitting President of the United States."
When Kelly returned the question, Ellen did not hesitate to say no, which elicited quite the reaction from both Kelly and the audience.
"There's nothing I'm gonna say to him that's gonna change him, and I don't wanna give him a platform because it validates him," DeGeneres explained. "For me to have someone on the show, I have to at least admire them in some way. I can't have someone that I feel is not only dangerous for the country and for me personally as a gay woman, but to the world. He's dividing all of us. I don't want him on the show."