President Donald Trump on Sunday implored Fox News to “bring back” host Jeanine Pirro after her show was omitted from the Saturday night lineup following disparaging remarks she made about a Muslim lawmaker a week earlier.
“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,” the president tweeted. ”[Fox News] must stay strong and fight back with vigor.”
He added: “Stop working sooooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down. ... Be strong & prosper, be weak & die!”
Pirro, one of Trump’s loudest media cheerleaders, has faced intense backlash since claiming during the March 9 broadcast of her show “Justice” that the religious hijab worn by Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) may be “antithetical to the Constitution.”
“Think about it: Omar wears a hijab,” Pirro had 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?”
Critics noted her comments were not only anti-Muslim but obviously inaccurate. The First Amendment guarantees free expression of religion.
Protests erupted outside the Fox News office last week, with demonstrators demanding the network terminate her employment. Several advertisers dropped the former judge’s show in the wake of her remarks.
Fox News issued a statement last Sunday strongly condemning Pirro’s remarks about Omar. “They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly,” according to the statement.
But the network hasn’t said what, if any, disciplinary action Pirro will face. In place of her show Saturday, Fox News aired a repeat episode of the documentary series “Scandalous.”
Asked for comment on Trump’s tweets Sunday and whether Pirro had been fired, a Fox News representative told HuffPost, “We are not commenting on internal scheduling matters.”
Pirro’s absence from Trump’s favorite cable news network on Saturday night followed the Friday massacre of at least 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand, allegedly by a white supremacist.
She said in a statement last Sunday that her remarks were meant “to start a debate” and that she hadn’t intended to dub Omar as “un-American.”
“Because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution,” she wrote. “I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today.”
Pirro has not apologized for the segment and hasn’t tweeted since last Sunday.
In his tweet this Sunday, Trump also encouraged Fox News to “keep fighting” for host Tucker Carlson, whose misogynistic and bigoted comments to a radio program between 2006 and 2011 resurfaced earlier this month.
Fox News has not commented on the Carlson controversy and his show has continued to air during its normal time slot.
Trump continued to make demands of his favorite cable news network later on Sunday, tweeting that on-air journalists Arthel Neville, Leland Vittert and Shepard Smith should work for CNN, which he frequently accuses of being “fake news,” instead of Fox News. Smith, who hosts an afternoon news program weekdays on the network, has gained particular attention for calling out the president’s frequent lies and exaggerations.