A Fox News host has come under fire this week for suggesting that Ahmed Mohamed, the 14-year-old Texas high schooler who was arrested last month for bringing a clock he built to school, was "not as innocent as he seems" because he was once allegedly caught "blowing soap bubbles" in school.
Ahmed was handcuffed and escorted out of MacArthur High School in Irving, Texas, in September after school administrators mistook the clock he'd made for a "bomb." Following his arrest, Ahmed was deluged with words of encouragement from politicians, scientists and leaders in the tech industry, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
President Barack Obama even invited the teen to visit the White House.
"We should inspire more kids like you to like science," Obama tweeted.
Hillary Clinton also threw her support behind Ahmed.
"Assumptions and fear don't keep us safe -- they hold us back. Ahmed, stay curious and keep building," she wrote on Twitter.
During a "Fox & Friends" segment on Wednesday, host Anna Kooiman questioned the validity of this outpouring of support and claimed Ahmed had a "history of trouble."
"The techy teenager may not be as innocent as he seems," Kooiman said.
Quoting a report published in The Dallas Morning News, Kooiman explained how Ahmed’s seventh-grade history teacher, Ralph Kubiak, had described the teen as a "weird little kid" who had allegedly been suspended from school after being caught blowing soap bubbles in a bathroom. The teacher called Ahmed "one of those kids that could either be CEO of a company or head of a gang," Kooiman noted.
She added that Ahmed had been caught making mischief in school, such as creating “a homemade remote [which] he used to prank a teenager by shutting off a projector in class.”
“It’s unknown if President Obama is aware of his past disciplinary problems in school,” Kooiman said.
As the Daily Beast notes, Kooiman "failed to mention that Kubiak described himself as an outsider and relished the opportunity to talk to [Ahmed], one of his 'disciples,' about religion, history and everything in between."
"I love him dearly but sometimes it got to be a little much," Kubiak told the Morning News, describing Ahmed as a chatterbox. "He just went on and on."
In the Fox segment, Kooiman also failed to discuss other aspects of the Morning News' report, such as the teen’s fondness for inventing things and how he endured bullying in school.
Defending Ahmed’s bubbles-related suspension, Anthony Bond, a family friend, told the Morning News: "Kids are kids. He was a little boy in a new environment, and they were acting out."
Ahmed had reportedly just moved to the U.S. from Sudan at the time.
Some netizens criticized Kooiman’s comments about Ahmed.
The Huffington Post has reached out to "Fox & Friends" for comment.
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