President Trump, who attended church on Sunday, held his own sermon on Twitter in defense of controversial Fox News hosts Jeanine Pirro and Tucker Carlson.
“Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro,” he demanded of Fox News. Pirro, who’s hosted “Justice With Judge Jeanine” since 2011. The show, which airs Saturday evenings at 9 p.m., was replaced March 16 by a rerun of the documentary show “Scandalous” a week after Pirro made contentious on-air comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., one of the first Muslim woman elected to Congress.
“Think about it,” Pirro began on her show last week, “Omar wears a hijab, which according to the Quran, 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”
Pirro faced immediate backlash from her comments about Omar, who herself faced criticism after making remarks interpreted by some as anti-Semitic.
Pirro lost advertisers and in a rare rebuke, was publicly condemned by her cable news network, although she has not been formally suspended.
“We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar,” the Fox News statement read. “They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”
Pirro has not apologized for her remarks, but defended her position in a statement on Monday. “I’ve seen a lot of comments about my opening statement from Saturday night’s show and I did not call Rep. Omar un-American,” she said. “My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution. I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today.”
Omar, in response to the condemnation of Pirro’s remarks, thanked Fox News on Twitter and added, “No one’s commitment to our constitution should be questioned because of their faith or country of birth.”
But Trump urged Fox News to reinstate Pirro, whom he’s personally known for years. “Fox must stay strong and fight back with vigor. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down,” Trump wrote Sunday.
He added: “Stay true to the people to the people that got you there. Keep fighting for Tucker, and fight hard for @JudgeJeanine.”
Unlike Pirro, Tucker Carlson, another Fox News host, was not pulled off air after his past controversial remarks were uncovered last week by Media Matters for America, a left-leaning advocacy group. Between 2006 and 2011, Carlson within weekly calls into a show called “Bubba the Love Sponge” said, “Iraq is a crappy place filled with a bunch of, you know, semiliterate primitive monkeys — that’s why it wasn’t worth invading.”
He also called women “extremely primitive” and in regards to underage marriage said he wasn’t defending it, but argued it was not “the same thing exactly as pulling a child from a bus stop and sexually assaulting that child.”
Although advertisers dropped Carlson’s show, “Tucker Carlson,” he remained on air, where he refused to “bow down” to the liberal “mob” and thanked Fox News for standing by him.
“Fox is behind us, as they have been since the first day,” he said. “Toughness is a rare quality in a TV network, and we’re grateful for that.”
He added: “We’ve always apologize when we’re wrong, and will continue to do that. That’s what decent people do. They apologize. But we will never bow to the mob. Ever. No matter what.”
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