- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 31, 2019

Fox host Jeanine Pirro returned Saturday to the airwaves after a two-week hiatus, taking aim at favorite targets such as “lying, liberal Hollywood hypocrites” without mentioning her absence.

Her show, “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” aired for the first time since March 9, when Ms. Pirro touched off an uproar by questioning whether Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar’s Muslim faith was compatible with the U.S. Constitution, prompting a rebuke from the network.

One of her Saturday guests, President Trump attorney Rudolph W. Giuliani, alluded to Ms. Pirro’s absence, saying it was “an honor to be with you again.”

“You know what I think of you and your entire career. You’re a crusader for justice,” Mr. Giuliani told her.

At the end of the show, the former New York state judge thanked her viewers for tuning in.

“Finally, I want to thank each of you for watching me tonight,” she said. “I love my loyal Fox News channel viewers and I appreciate all of you for joining us.”

On her March 9 show, Ms. Pirro discussed comments by Ms. Omar, the first member of Congress to wear a hijab in office, who has been accused of making anti-Semitic comments.

“Think about it,” Pirro said. “Omar wears a hijab, which according to the Quran, 33:59, tells women to cover so they won’t get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which is antithetical to the U.S. Constitution?”

Fox News slammed her remark. “We strongly condemn Jeanine Pirro’s comments about Rep. Ilhan Omar,” the network said in a statement. “They do not reflect those of the network and we have addressed the matter with her directly.”

Fox also released a statement from Ms. Pirro, who denied calling Ms. Omar un-American and invited the Minnesota Democrat to appear on the show.

“I’ve seen a lot of comments about my opening statement from Saturday night’s show and I did not call Rep. Omar un-American,” she said in the statement. “My intention was to ask a question and start a debate, but of course because one is Muslim does not mean you don’t support the Constitution.”

President Trump took to Twitter afterward to defend Ms. Pirro, whose parents were Lebanese, tweeting, “Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro.”

She had been billed to return to the network during Friday’s edition of “Hannity,” but her appearance was canceled due to a family emergency, according to host Sean Hannity.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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