Fox News Suspends Contributor David Bossie for 'Cotton-Picking' Remark

Former Trump administration aide David Bossie has been suspended from Fox News after a making a racist remark on air on Sunday.

Bossie, who works as a regular contributor on the cable channel, made an appearance on Fox & Friends on Sunday along with Democratic strategist Joel Payne. Payne, who is black, was debating with Bossie over some of the Trump administration's policies and actions recently, when Bossie blurted out "You're out of your cotton-picking mind."

The comment was enough to earn Bossie a two-week suspension from Fox News, according to a report by The Daily Beast. Three sources inside the network confirmed the news.

"I have some relatives who picked cotton," Payne responded in the moment on the air, "and I'm not going to sit back and let you attack me on TV like that."

Shortly after the comment, host ed Henry said that it was over the line.

"I want to make clear that Fox News and this show, myself, we don't agree with that particular phrase. It was obviously offensive," he said.

At the height of the conflict, Payne was accusing the White House of "dog whistling" to those with racist or bigoted sympathies. This means that he believes the president and his team imbue their words and actions with subtle hints to let like-minded people know that they're on board. The idea has been given some validity by President Trump's supporters themselves, who often read into his every word on message boards like Reddit, believeing he is sending them subliminal hints.

"You don't have to be a golden retriever to hear all the dog whistles coming out of the White House these days and from my friend David here," Payne said just before Bossie made his remark.

It is unclear whether Bossie will be paid during his suspension, or what capacity he will work in when he returns. He worked as a deputy campaign manager for Donald Trump during the contentious 2016 election.

"During a heated segment on Fox & Friends today, I should have chosen my words more carefully and never used the offensive phrase that I did," Bossie wrote on Twitter. "I apologize to Joel Payne, Fox News and its viewers."


"So you mean to tell me that you, a broadcast professional, are not in control of what you say live on the air?" replied Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski. "I'm sorry but as a former broadcast professional myself, that s— doesn't fly. You knew what you said."

"Nope. You don't get to pretend that was just some slip of the tongue mishap," another person tweeted. "That phrase is flat out racist and there is no justification for its use. Saying it was a heated discussion minimizes your culpability and an apology with an attempted rationalization is just an excuse."