It’s been a rough week for Donald Trump and his “Friends” at Fox News.
The usually fawning hosts of the president’s favorite morning show have relentlessly attacked him for allegedly being rolled by Democrats into not shutting down the federal government over lack of funding for his Mexico border wall, and for his “totally irresponsible” decision to withdraw U.S. troops from Syria.
But things went to the next level Friday morning when White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders made an appearance on Fox & Friends, only to be told that, by leaving Syria, her boss had “refounded ISIS.”
The White House spokeswoman spent much of the interview echoing Trump’s morning tweets by talking up the possibility of a government shutdown at midnight, and also played down the rift between the president and Defense Secretary James Mattis, who announced his resignation Thursday with a brutal letter to Trump.
But co-host Brian Kilmeade—who, on Thursday, blasted the decision to leave Syria and said that only a child could agree with Trump in thinking that ISIS had been defeated—was clearly itching to make his thoughts known on the issue again, especially following reports that Trump is also planning to pull troops out of Afghanistan as well as Syria.
“[Trump] is giving Russia a big win—Vladimir Putin praised him,” said the opinionated host. “He also is doing exactly what he criticized President Obama for doing. He said President Obama is the founder of ISIS. He just refounded ISIS because they have 30,000 men there and they are already striking back with our would-be evacuation. The president is really on the griddle with this.”
Kilmeade was appropriating a Trump attack on Obama and Hillary Clinton made shortly after his nomination in 2016. “[Obama] is the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder of ISIS. He’s the founder. He founded ISIS,” Trump said in a typically rambling address to a rally of supporters, adding: “I would say the co-founder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”
Sanders denied that her boss had refounded ISIS, saying that “the idea that the president has had anything to do with helping ISIS re-emerge is absolutely outrageous.” But Kilmeade told her that “leaving is helping” and that “the word on the ground is different” from the Trump’s boasts that the terrorist organization had been defeated.
It wasn’t just Sanders who bore the brunt of Kilmeade’s anger Friday. Earlier on in the show, he repeatedly interrupted and talked over his co-hosts to sustain his attacks on the president.
“We now have Rand Paul as secretary of defense and secretary of state, this is Rand Paul’s foreign policy. Rand Paul, to his credit, is true to his school. This is Rand Paul getting to the president saying: ‘Pull out, everybody. We don’t want to waste any money and time or have any influence.’... If he, if we wanted to elect Rand Paul, he would’ve got nine votes nationally.”
Kilmeade ranted on: “The president of the United States is looking past all of his advisers and going with Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul. If you're OK with that, congratulations, that’s the foreign policy.”
When his co-host Ainsley Earhardt told Kilmeade that the family members of the troops will probably be thrilled to have their troops home, he conceded that was a “good point” but that he was thinking of the people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, who he believes are being let down.
“I also think of those people on the 55th floor who either burned alive or jumped for their lives, because it’s the same mind-set and we are letting them to go take root again,” said the host.
The season of goodwill? Not over on Fox News.