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March 17, 2019, 3:35 PM GMT
By Allan Smith
President Donald Trump called on Fox News to keep host Jeanine Pirro on the air after she didn’t appear for her regularly scheduled Saturday night program following her anti-Muslim comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., a week ago.
“Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro,” Trump tweeted. “The Radical Left Democrats, working closely with their beloved partner, the Fake News Media, is using every trick in the book to SILENCE a majority of our Country. They have all out campaigns against @FoxNews hosts who are doing too well.”
Fox News “must stay strong and fight back with vigor,” Trump added.
“Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down, and continue to fight for our Country,” he said. “The losers all want what you have, don’t give it to them. Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!”
Trump told Fox News to “stay true to the people that got you there.”
“Keep fighting for Tucker, and fight hard for @JudgeJeanine,” he said. “Your competitors are jealous – they all want what you’ve got – NUMBER ONE. Don’t hand it to them on a silver platter. They can’t beat you, you can only beat yourselves!”
Pirro suggested last week that Omar’s religion was antithetical to the Constitution.
“Think about it: Omar wears a hijab,” Pirro said. “Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?”
Fox News issued a rare condemnation of Pirro after her remarks, which caused several companies to pull advertisements from her show, “Justice with Judge Jeanine.” Pirro said in a statement that she was just trying to “ask a question and start a debate.”
“Of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution,” she said. “I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today.”
A Fox News spokesperson declined to comment to NBC News about why Pirro’s show did not air, saying “We’re not commenting on internal scheduling matters.” The spokesperson also did not comment on Trump’s tweets.
Pirro is one of Trump’s staunchest cable news defenders. The president’s tweets come just days after an avowed neo-Nazi allegedly killed 50 at two New Zealand mosques, which the president condemned. Asked Friday if he felt there was a growing threat of white nationalism across the globe, with this massacre following a white nationalist killing spree at a Pittsburgh synagogue late last year, Trump responded, “I don’t really,” adding, “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”
Trump’s mention of Fox News host Tucker Carlson is in reference to therecent unearthing of comments he made on shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge’s radio show between 2006 and 2011, causing companies to pull advertising from Carlson’s show. The liberal activist group Media Matters for America released recordings of Carlson’s remarks, in which he said Iraq is populated by “semi-literate primitive monkeys,” that women are “extremely primitive,” and that a Democratic presidential candidate would cruise to election in 2008 if they promised to kill as many “lunatic Muslims” as possible.
Carlson, who joined the network in 2009, did not apologize for the comments, saying, “If you want to know what I think, you can watch” his weeknight program. “Anyone who disagrees with my views is welcome to come on and explain why,” he continued.
Fox News said in a statement that it stands by Carlson.
“We cannot and will not allow voices like Tucker Carlson to be censored by agenda-driven intimidation efforts from the likes of Moveon.org, Media Matters and Sleeping Giants,” the company said in an emailed statement.