Fox News host Brian Kilmeade on Monday called it “insane” for former President Trump to kick off his first official 2024 rally with a national anthem sung by incarcerated Jan. 6 rioters and footage featuring the insurrection.
Kilmeade on “Fox & Friends” criticized Trump for the rally’s spotlight on Jan. 6 and the former president’s focus on ongoing investigations into him, rather than on his record or on other issues important to his party.
“Instead, the president of the United States, the former president of the United States, opened up with Jan. 6 video, which is insane. He should be running from that period. I don’t care his point of view. That is not a good thing for him,” Kilmeade said.
“I thought that was absolutely awful. Even though he is winning in the polls, that will not.”
Trump opened up his rally with a rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner” sung by inmates incarcerated for their role in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Footage of the riots played during the song, according to The Associated Press.
“I think for President Trump to spend 80 percent of his time complaining about court cases instead of just looking at his own record, and what he would have done… 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 said.
Trump is the subject of multiple investigations — including a federal probe into efforts to interfere with the 2020 election — and faces a possible indictment as a prosecutor in Manhattan probes a hush money payment made by his then-lawyer to an adult film star.
During his rally, the former president dismissed the investigations and cried “prosecutorial misconduct,” taking shots at Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg and pitching 2024 as “the final battle.”
Trump announced his bid for the White House after the midterm elections in November. Two other Republicans, former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and conservative entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy, have also launched campaigns.