Judge Bruce Reinhart’s justification for signing the FBI’s search warrant of former President Donald Trump’s Florida home remains as yet unknown. But while conservatives focus on the questionable background of the judge, progressives have naturally gravitated to the defensive of those dubious connections and lashed out at one Fox News host over a joke.
(Video: Fox News)
Brian Kilmeade stepped away from his usual morning routine to fill-in as host of “Tucker Carlson Tonight” Thursday where he successfully triggered the left while passing the baton to Sean Hannity at the end of the hour. After teasing an image of the judge before the final break, a doctored photo of Reinhart attributed to “what.I.meme.to.say” was presented on screen portraying the man getting his foot rubbed by Jeffrey Epstein’s girlfriend and convicted sex trafficker, Ghislaine Maxwell.
“This is the judge in charge of the…as you know, of the warrant, and we’ll see if he’s going to release it next–he likes Oreos and whiskey,” Kilmeade said. “Sean can you relate to that?”
“I think that’s actually a picture of Jeffrey Epstein with somebody putting [Reinhart’s] head on there. I’m guessing. I don’t know.” Hannity replied dismissively before beginning his own broadcast.
As previously reported, Reinhart was working for the South Florida U.S. Attorney’s Office as Epstein was being prosecuted for sex trafficking in 2007. Reinhart quit his job one day before opening a private practice and joining the defense of Epstein’s associates working to secure several immunity deals amid questions of impropriety. Those connections only heightened suspicions that the raid on Trump’s residence at Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, FL signed off on by Reinhart was not above board.
For some, Kilmeade’s attempt at humor was not readily apparent and the Fox News host found himself issuing an apology by way of clarification to slake the bloodlust of the Twitter mob.
“Last night while subbing for Tucker Carlson, we showed you an image of Judge Bruce Reinhart w/ Ghislaine Maxwell that was sourced on screen to a meme pulled from Twitter & wasn’t real,” he posted to social media. “This depiction never took place & we wanted to make clear that we were showing a meme in jest.”
Last night while subbing for Tucker Carlson, we showed you an image of Judge Bruce Reinhart w/ Ghislaine Maxwell that was sourced on screen to a meme pulled from Twitter & wasn’t real. This depiction never took place & we wanted to make clear that we were showing a meme in jest.
— Brian Kilmeade (@kilmeade) August 12, 2022
Of course, no apology is ever good enough where mobocracy is concerned and so the calls for Kilmeade’s head rang out as demands for his immediate termination over spreading lies continued even after the joke was explained, while others suggested Reinhart sue the network and its hosts.
Judge Reinhart needs to sue TF out of Brian Kilmeade, Tucker Carlson and Fox News!
— Amy Siskind 🏳️🌈 (@Amy_Siskind) August 12, 2022
No. This is unacceptable. It wasn’t in jest. Millions of people took that seriously. You lied to get people worked up. You lie all the time. You cause shame to real journalists. You cause shame to your family and the people that educated you. You should resign and rethink it all.
— Susan Joliver 🗽☮️🏳️🌈 (@SeekingSusie) August 12, 2022
this tweet reads like it was written by the FOX legal department.
You absolutely knew it was fake. and by pushing the lie–you put the judge’s life at risk.
— Art Martin (@gartmartin9) August 12, 2022
F-ck you @kilmeade. You and your network knew exactly what you were doing when you did it. You lied to help a criminal in Palm Beach. Your network is working overtime to help that criminal incite violence and you just may get someone killed.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) August 12, 2022
“we were showing a meme in jest” = PLEASE DON’T SUE US
— Matthew Budman (@CollectBooksNow) August 12, 2022
These cries of outrage were, of course, notably absent during the months of protests outside Supreme Court justices’ homes following the leak of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that led to the overturn of Roe v. Wade. Also, notably absent were demands from the mob to see the justification that Reinhart had been presented by the affidavit to support the warrant that was made public Friday or the as yet unseen list of Epstein’s clients.
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