The Congressional Black Caucus is demanding an apology from Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly after he said that he wants to “slap” Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C., for focusing on gun control over terrorism in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting.
“The Congressional Black Caucus is outraged Bill O’Reilly would make such a disparaging statement on national television regarding an esteemed member of the CBC,” the group’s chairman, G. K. Butterfield, said in a statement on Thursday.
I just want to slap him.
Bill O’Reilly about Rep. Jim Clyburn, D-S.C.
O’Reilly made the comment on “Fox and Friends” on Thursday morning, while talking about the mass shooting in Orlando that left 49 people dead and 53 wounded.
“It just angers me. There’s two separate issues: There’s the terrorism, and there’s the gun control. But what was it, Congressman Clyburn, is that his name?” he said on Fox.
“He gets all, ‘It’s not about terrorism, it’s about gun control’ ” he said, mimicking Clyburn’s voice and intonation and referring to the congressman’s comment on MSNBC on Tuesday.
“I just want to slap him,” O’Reilly said, before adding “with all due respect.”
Clyburn, the third-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives, on Monday followed a moment of silence for the victims of the Orlando shooting by asking House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., when he would allow gun control legislation to be considered.
O’Reilly said focusing on guns missed the point and spoke about the shooter, Omar Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during the shooting early Sunday.
“When you start to tell Americans lies, that there isn’t a terror threat, that it’s all about gun control, only if we banned all guns we’d be safe from ISIS. When you start to lie at that level, and it’s acceptable lies, then we’re in trouble as a country,” he said.
The Congressional Black Caucus responded a few hours later.
“His statement is insulting, provocative and unbecoming of a professional commentator,” Butterfield said. “Mr. O’Reilly should disavow his comments and issue an apology to Congressman Clyburn immediately.”
Jaime Harrison, chairman of the South Carolina Democratic Party, condemned O’Reilly’s comments in a tweet.
Clyburn wasn’t fazed by O’Reilly’s comments.
“Tolerating haters is the story of my life,” he told McClatchy through a spokesman on Friday.
Clyburn was invited to be a guest on O’Reilly’s show “The O’Reilly Factor” next Monday but declined the invitation, according to a Fox News spokeswoman