A co-host of former President Donald Trump’s one-time favorite cable news program turned on the 76-year-old Monday, calling his celebration of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot during a weekend campaign rally “absolutely awful” and “insane.”
Trump, who is seeking a non-consecutive second term in the White House, opened his Saturday event in Waco, Texas, by showing a video of the violence accompanied by the J6 Prison Choir’s song “Justice For All,” which features incarcerated rioters singing the national anthem as Trump recites the Pledge of Allegiance.
The song was ranked No. 8 on the Apple Music charts as of Monday.
“Fox & Friends” co-host Brian Kilmeade was left aghast at the campaign’s decision, calling it “insane.”
“He should be running from that, period,” he said of Trump. “I don’t care his point of view, that is not a good thing for him. I thought that was absolutely awful. Even though he is winning in the polls, that will not help.”
More than 1,000 people have been arrested so far for their roles in the riot, and Trump himself is under investigation by the feds over his role in potentially inciting the violence — in addition to other federal and state probes.
Kilmeade also criticized the 45th president for spending “80% of his time complaining about court cases instead of just looking at his own record and what he would have done.”
According to the morning show host, Trump should have told his audience, “‘Let me tell you what I would have done to [Silicon Valley Bank]. Let me tell you what I would have done over into Syria if they — if we — our guys got hit for the 74th time and twice in two days.’
“He does that, or other candidates do that, they’re going to be unbelievably successful because that’s going to be the conversation at the kitchen table.”
Kilmeade’s criticism was a marked change of tone for the show that had welcomed Trump 20 times between his swearing-in as president in 2017 and September 2020, according to then-CBS News reporter Mark Knoller.
The riot video wasn’t the only rough moment of the rally for Trump, who saw his trademark raucous audience of supporters grow quiet as he delivered a barrage of insults to likely GOP challenger Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida.