David Bossie, the former deputy campaign manager for Donald Trump and current outside adviser to the president, has been suspended from his contributor gig at Fox News, three sources familiar with the situation tell The Daily Beast.
The suspension is set to last two weeks.
Appearing Sunday on Fox & Friends Weekend, the Trump surrogate found himself in a heated spat with Democratic strategist Joel Payne, who is black.
“You don’t have to be a golden retriever to hear all the dog whistles coming out of the White House these days and from my friend David here,” Payne said, mid-debate.
Amid the ensuing crosstalk, Bossie fired back with a dog whistle of his own: “You’re out of your cotton-picking mind.”
“I have some relatives who picked cotton,” an infuriated Payne responded, “and I’m not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that.”
Following the segment, Fox News host Ed Henry almost immediately condemned the comments, telling viewers, “I want to make clear that Fox News and this show, myself, we don’t agree with that particular phrase. It was obviously offensive.”
And reached for comment, the network denounced their contributor: “David Bossie's comments today were deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate. His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of Fox News and we do not in any way condone them."
The Trump surrogate eventually apologized on Twitter: “During a heated segment on Fox & Friends today, I should have chosen my words more carefully and never used the offensive phrase that I did,” he wrote. “I apologize to Joel Payne, Fox News and its viewers.”
Bossie remains close to the president and other Trumpworld luminaries, and has visited the Trump White House multiple times to advise the president on political matters and elections.
President Trump has privately referred to Bossie—who appears regularly on TV and in public to offer impassioned defenses of his former boss and his administration and policies—as one of his top “warriors,” a term Trump uses frequently when praising his favorite media surrogates and high-profile supporters.
Neither Bossie nor Fox News responded to requests for comment on this story.