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MSNBC host takes a dig at Bob Dole just hours after the late senator's death — and gets taken to the woodshed

Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images

MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan took a dig at former Sen. Bob Dole (R-Kan.) just hours after Dole passed away on Sunday morning at the age of 98.

Dole — a decorated World War II veteran as well as former Republican presidential candidate and Senate majority leader — was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer in February.

At the time, he said, "While I certainly have some hurdles ahead, I also know that I join millions of Americans who face significant health challenges of their own."

What are the details?

Hasan on Sunday criticized the New York Times' reporting on Dole's death, which highlighted his selfless and brave military and public service.

He shared the Times' tweet about Dole's death, which said, "Breaking News: Bob Dole is dead at 98. He overcame grievous war wounds to become Senate majority leader, spending decades on the national stage."

Hasan captioned the tweet with a dig of his own, "Bob Dole, who endorsed and voted for Trump twice, and called himself a 'Trumper' as recently as July, has passed away."

What was the response?

Former Democratic congressional candidate Christopher Hale wrote, "Bob Dole fought and was paralyzed in World War II so television pundits could trash him freely after his recently deceased body was still warm."

Radio host Tony Katz added, "He was also a hero who served his country proudly in WWII. But what does that matter, right?

Steven Brookstein, vocalist and former "X-Factor" winner, chimed in, "Mehdi Hasan. Zero class."

Podcaster and columnist Derek Hunter added, "Bob Dole contributed more [to] the cause of freedom, to this country, and the world than @mehdirhasan, of any of the goon squad over at MSNBC could ever hope to in 50 lifetimes."

Hasan later seemed to complain about the hate he was receiving for his remarks, and in a follow-up tweet, he wrote, "Trump supporters & rightwingers seem to think it is somehow a disrespectful attack by me on the late Bob Dole to point out he was a Trump supporter. That's kind of a revealing self-own. Btw here's their hero Trump after another Republican war veteran died."

His tweet accompanied a New York Times report titled "Trump Renews Attacks on John McCain, Months After Senator's Death."

'A war hero and among the greatest of the Greatest Generation'

In a statement on his passing, Dole's family said, "Senator Robert Joseph Dole died early this morning in his sleep. At his death, at age 98, he had served the United States of America faithfully for 79 years."

On Dole's passing, President Joe Biden said, "Bob was an American statesman like few in our history. A war hero and among the greatest of the Greatest Generation. And to me, he was also a friend whom I could look to for trusted guidance, or a humorous line at just the right moment to settle frayed nerves."

What has Hasan said in the past?

Hasan in 2019 came under fire for comparing non-Muslim people to animals, which eventually prompted an apology.

Hasan, 42, said that in his twenties, he said things that he ended up regretting.

In his 2019 apology, Hasan said, "Like a lot of journos (humans?) I’ve said things years ago that I now deeply regret. Chief among them for me is, more than a decade ago, in my 20s, when I wasn’t a public figure, I gave a bunch of speeches to students on Islam/extremism. And I said dumb offensive ranty stuff."

“Speaking without notes, & trying to be bombastic, I made stupid sweeping remarks about non-Muslims, especially atheists," he qualified. "I cringe now when I rehear/reread those remarks. I made stupid offensive analogies to animals. Argh. I’m embarrassed to have to write about all this again. But I don’t want to defend/explain today. I just want to say, I’m sorry.”

The offending remarks included comparing non-Muslims and atheists to "cattle" and more.

In resurfaced recordings, Hasan was captured delivering what appeared to be a sermon on Islamic law in which he said, "All of these ulama unanimously agree that at the very minimum if Yazid was not a Kaffir — then at the very minimum he was a fasiq, a transgressor, a breaker of Islamic laws, a corrupt individual, a tyrant, a killer a drunkard, a dog lover, a music lover, a homosexual, a pedophile, a sexual deviant, someone who slept with his own mother."

“In this respect the Koran describes the atheist as cattle," he added. "As cattle of those who grow the crops and do not stop and wonder about this world."

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