Fox News issued a stern statement in response to highly controversial remarks network host Jeanine Pirro made over the weekend in which she mocked Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) for wearing a hijab, the traditional Islamic head-covering, while seemingly questioning Omar's allegiance to the United States.
What did Pirro say?
During her Fox News show Saturday, Pirro suggested that Omar's religion — she is a devout Muslim — helped shape her view toward Israel. Omar has made it clear she does not support Israel, and has been accused of making numerous anti-Semitic remarks.
"Think about it: Omar wears a hijab," Pirro said on her show. "Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States Constitution?"
President Trump was right when he said the democrat party is now the anti-Israel party. Don’t forget Nancy, history… https://t.co/lZGsutcNvB— Jeanine Pirro (@Jeanine Pirro) 1552184070.0
Though universal support among the right and left is rare, Pirro's comments generated just that: widespread condemnation from conservatives and liberals.
One Fox News employee, network producer Hufsa Kamal, even publicly asked Pirro to "stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hijab aren't American enough."
@JudgeJeanine can you stop spreading this false narrative that somehow Muslims hate America or women who wear a hij… https://t.co/qQkL2CaFLa— Hufsa Kamal (@Hufsa Kamal) 1552234017.0
How did Fox News respond?
In a strongly worded statement released late Sunday, the network said it had addressed the matter directly with Pirro.
"We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro's comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar. They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly," the statement read.
Accompanying the Fox News' statement was a lengthy response from Pirro in which the former judge claimed her comments were meant to spark debate, not question Omar's American allegiance.
"I've seen a lot of comments about my opening statement from Saturday night's show and I did not call Rep. Omar un-American," Pirro said. "My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don't support the Constitution. I invite Rep. Omar to come on my show any time to discuss all of the important issues facing America today."