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GOP debate features faceoff between Donald Trump, Megyn Kelly

Moderator Megyn Kelly talks during a Republican presidential

Moderator Megyn Kelly talks during a Republican presidential primary debate in Des Moines, Iowa on Jan. 28, 2016. They were much more cordial at a debate on March 3, 2016 in Detroit. Credit: AP / Chris Carlson

There was a cordial — but somewhat tongue-in-cheek — exchange during Thursday night’s GOP debate as Fox News’ Megyn Kelly greeted her antagonist, front-runner Donald Trump.

“Mr. Trump,” Kelly began, as the boisterous Detroit audience fell silent. “Hi, how you doing?”

“Nice to be with you, Megyn,” the billionaire responded.

“Great to have you here,” she said.

“You’re looking well,” Trump continued. “You’re looking well.”

A question on immigration was Kelly’s first directly to Trump, about a half-hour into the debate — and it elicited a measured response, not fireworks.

He hadn’t faced questioning from Kelly since the two clashed in the first debate in August. That’s when Kelly’s questioning about Trump’s treatment of women blew up into a running feud between the two.

Trump, who later dismissed Kelly as a “lightweight” and a “bimbo,” ended up boycotting a subsequent Fox debate, accusing the network of being unfair, and tweeting about her “average” looks.

But Thursday, Trump signaled he was ready for a truce. When Kelly asked about his changing positions on several issues, Trump remained calm, conceding his positions had evolved.

“You have to show flexibility,” he said.

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