Democrat slams Trump on Fox when network airs wrong guest
BOSTON (AP) — A mix-up on Fox News today gave a Democratic congressional candidate from Massachusetts a forum to criticize President Donald Trump's immigration policies, confusing the hosts of the show who thought they were speaking with another candidate.
The network planned a live interview with former U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for an open House seat in Arizona, and who was recently booed at a Democratic forum when she expressed support for federal immigration border agents.
But when the hosts of Fox & Friends First introduced the segment, Barbara L'Italien appeared on screen and said she wanted to speak directly to Trump.
"What you're doing at the border is wrong. As a mother of four, I'm appalled that we are separating kids from their parents. It's illegal and inhumane," L'Italien said.
At that point, L'Italien identified herself as a state senator in Massachusetts who is running for an open House seat in that state.
"We have to stop abducting children and ripping them from their parents' arms, stop putting kids in cages, stop putting kids in cages, stop making 3-year-old defend themselves in court," ignoring attempts by hosts Jillian Mele and Rob Schmitt to ask whether the family separation policy had been stopped.
After Schmitt turned to his co-host and asked, "Who is this?" the feed was cut off and Schmitt said: "That didn't go as planned." Mele apologized to viewers for the confusion a short time later.
Desiree Dunne, executive producer of Fox & Friends First, said the show reached out to Kirkpatrick through Joe Katz, a press contact they had on file.
Katz once served as a spokesman for Kirkpatrick when she was in Congress.