Fox News host Ainsley Earhardt either didn’t know or didn’t care about the very damning evidence against Donald Trump and his real estate company when they settled with the Department of Justice for engaging in racial discrimination. Instead Earhardt, who has helped defend housing segregation on Fox News, gushed over the dishonest explanation he gave during the first presidential debate.
In some of the more telling moments during the September 26, 2016 debate, Trump did a terrible job defending his record his race.
First, Trump tried to justify his birtherism by saying: “I think I did a great job and a great service not only for the country, but even for the president, in getting him to produce his birth certificate.”
Hillary Clinton hit back by noting that Trump’s birther lie was part of a pattern of racism going back decades:
CLINTON: But, remember, Donald started his career back in 1973 being sued by the Justice Department for racial discrimination because he would not rent apartments in one of his developments to African-Americans, and he made sure that the people who worked for him understood that was the policy. He actually was sued twice by the Justice Department.
After Trump “defended” himself by accusing Clinton of “terrible disrespect” toward President Obama during their 2008 presidential contest, he said this:
TRUMP: [W]e, along with many, many other companies throughout the country — it was a federal lawsuit — were sued. We settled the suit with zero — with no admission of guilt. It was very easy to do.
[…] I settled that lawsuit with no admission of guilt, but that was a lawsuit brought against many real estate firms, and it’s just one of those things.
The Washington Post fact checker awarded Trump four Pinocchios (its worst grade) for his misleading statements:
This was not a case brought against many real estate firms; it was brought against Trump and his father. […] He also failed to live up to the deal and found himself back in court. While Trump touts there was no admission of guilt, that’s rather typical in these sorts of settlements. The Justice Department simply wanted to get the Trumps to agree to rent to African American tenants — which they failed to do even after agreeing to settle the case.
Trump followed up his lawsuit BS with the ridiculously out-of-touch suggestion that he can’t be a racist because his ritzy-titzy Palm Beach club doesn’t discriminate against blacks or Muslims:
TRUMP: I’ll go one step further. In Palm Beach, Florida, tough community, a brilliant community, a wealthy community, probably the wealthiest community there is in the world, I opened a club, and really got great credit for it. No discrimination against African- Americans, against Muslims, against anybody. And it’s a tremendously successful club. And I’m so glad I did it. And I have been given great credit for what I did. And I’m very, very proud of it. And that’s the way I feel. That is the true way I feel.
At the debate-watch party I attended, loud guffaws broke out when Trump crowed about following the law at his Palm Beach club.
But not Ainsley Earhardt! You may recall that she once helped Sean Hannity take a stand on behalf of racial segregation in Westchester County. And she’s just “so tired of protecting” rights of “the minority!”
When Trump visited Fox & Friends the morning after the debate, he complained that moderator Lester Holt “hit me on a housing deal from many years ago that I settled with no recourse and no guilt.”
Earhardt and her two cohosts couldn’t have looked more concerned on Trump’s behalf.
After a brief little flirtation when Trump said he hated to say the lawsuit was more than 40 years old because Earhardt will be “unimpressed” with how old he is, and she gave a blinding smile for the camera as her cohosts chuckled along appreciatively, Earhardt worked to legitimize Trump’s lie:
EARHARDT: I did like how you responded to that, though, because when they throw those things at you and you’re – being in the audience, I didn’t know about that and then when you explain it, then you’re like, “Oh, OK, well that makes sense.”
Maybe to people like her. But to African Americans, probably not.
Watch Earhardt try to whitewash Trump’s racism below, from the September 27, 2016 Fox & Friends.
For republicans, what’s not to love?