Brian Kilmeade, who has spent a good portion of 2020 condemning Black Lives Matter and “antifa” protesters as co-host of Fox & Friends, is now defending the heavily armed members of far-right groups like the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer who attempted to storm the Oregon State Capitol this week.
During his radio broadcast on Tuesday morning, Kilmeade joined anchor Trace Gallagher on Fox News, who read a quote that one of the demonstrators gave to The Daily Beast on Monday: “I’m here to support the constitutional rights of people and of Oregon business [owners]. These people are unemployed and their lives are being ruined by this situation and most importantly by a government that seems to have taken totalitarian views.”
“Clearly, this person and a lot of others are fed up,” Gallagher said, before asking, “Are the protests the way to vent your frustration, in your opinion, Brian?”
Kilmeade began by noting that the Oregon state government originally planned to allow most businesses to reopen on Jan. 2, 2021, but extended that date two months due to the out-of-control spread of COVID-19 there and elsewhere across the country.
“There’s protests everywhere,” he said. “I ask you, what else can they do? They had the legislative meeting where they’re deciding their future. You show up! I’m not for violence, but I’m for showing up in numbers. Especially as legislators can see the faces of those they’re shutting down, maybe forever?”
Then, Kilmeade made his contrast with the left-wing protests against police brutality and systemic racism explicit. “You know what’s different about these riots in Oregon as opposed to Seattle riots?” he asked. “They’re not against America. They want to work in America. They want to live the American dream.”
“And I would imagine they were living it until they were stopped by a pandemic, from China,” Kilmeade continued, “but they doubled and tripled the pain by terrible leadership by mayors and governors, case in point in Oregon.”