Fox News host Brian Kilmeade had unusually harsh words for Donald Trump on Monday over the former president’s embrace of the U.S. Capitol attack during a weekend campaign rally.
Trump opened his rally in Waco, Texas, on Saturday with a song called “Justice for All” performed by a choir of people convicted for their roles in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. Footage from the attack was shown on big screens as the choir sang the national anthem.
On “Fox & Friends” Monday, Kilmeade was incredulous.
“The former president of the United States opened up with Jan. 6 video, which is insane,” he said. “He should be running from that period. I don’t care his point of view. That is not a good thing for him.”
“I thought that was absolutely awful. Even though he is winning in the polls, that will not help,” Kilmeade added.
The Waco rally was the first of Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign. During the event, he continued to air old grievances about the 2020 election, honored the insurrectionists who helped him try to overturn it, and blasted various investigations into his behavior as political attacks orchestrated by “radical left maniacs.” He told supporters that the 2024 presidential election would be “the final battle.”
His heated rhetoric drew backlash and concern from lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle. On Sunday, House Jan. 6 committee member Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said some of Trump’s rhetoric was at times even more “overt and blatant” than it was in the lead-up to the Capitol violence.
Several Republican senators expressed displeasure about Trump’s Jan. 6 tribute.
“There is no way you’re going to convince the American people that Jan. 6 was anything less than a horrible day,” Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told HuffPost.
Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.) said he was “disappointed” to see Trump use footage from that day. “What happened on that day was as close to an attempted insurrection as we’ve seen in a very long time,” he said.