Trump Defends Fox News Host Reportedly Suspended For Islamophobic Remarks

Jeanine Pirro, arrives at the Trump Tower for meetings with US President-elect Donald Trump, in New York on November 17, 2016. / AFP / Eduardo Munoz Alvarez (Photo credit should read EDUARDO MUNOZ ALVAREZ/AFP/Getty Images)
March 17, 2019 12:01 p.m.

As his chief of staff defended him against charges of Islamophobia on Sunday, President Donald Trump defended a Fox News anchor who was reportedly suspended for Islamophobic remarks.

The tweets referenced Jeanine Pirro’s Fox News show, which didn’t air on Saturday due to what one unnamed source familiar with the matter told CNN was a suspension.

Pirro implied on her show last weekend that Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) hijab was “antithetical to the United States Constitution.”

The New York Times also reported that Pirro had been suspended because of her remarks, citing an unnamed source “told of the decision.”

A Fox News spokesperson issued two statements in response to the uproar that followed Pirro’s commentary last week: One was attributed to the network, which “strongly condemn[ed]” the comments, and another was attributed to Pirro herself, who said “my intention was to ask a question and start a debate.”

The spokesperson did not respond at the time to TPM’s questions about how the network justified employing Pirro, given the clashing statements. A Fox News spokesperson told NBC News and the Times: “We’re not commenting on internal scheduling matters.”

Trump’s defense of Pirro came as his chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, argued on “Fox News Sunday” that he was not a white supremacist, and two days after a white nationalist terrorist attack killed 50 Mosque-goers in Christchurch, New Zealand.

In a separate interview Sunday, Mulvaney told CBS’s Margaret Brennan that “I don’t think anybody can say that the President is anti-Muslim.”

“Well, the President’s tweeting now about a TV host who was suspended for anti-Muslim rhetoric,” Brennan responded. “So I think it’s a fair question to ask you about this.”

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