This was one joke Sarah Huckabee Sanders probably enjoyed.
After being the target of tasteless public mockery by a so-called “comedian” hired for the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner only a week earlier, the White House press secretary found herself in much friendlier company Sunday at a send-off party for America’s new ambassador to Germany.
And former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly provided a one-liner on Sanders’ behalf that just about any conservative could agree with.
According to the New York Post’s Page Six, O’Reilly and Sanders were among a crowd that included top names like first son Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News personalities Dana Perino, Kimberly Guilfoyle, Martha MacCallum, Harris Faulkner and Greg Gutfeld.
O’Reilly, who Page Six said was a surprise guest, gave a speech in which he declared “heads would have rolled” had he been present at the correspondents’ dinner. Then, he dropped a line about CNN’s Jim Acosta that had to have been a crowd-pleaser.
“I would love just to get my big hands around Jim Acosta’s neck,” O’Reilly said.
Speaking to The Daily Caller after the event, O’Reilly tried to make it clear he had no intention of putting his hands on Acosta (no doubt anticipating the kind of blowback a statement like that could be expected to get once the liberal snowflakes caught wind of it).
The remark, he said, was “totally in jest.”
“I don’t want to hurt him,” O’Reilly told the website. “Just scare him.”
But no matter how O’Reilly wanted to clarify it, the social media response made it clear there were plenty of people on his side.
On his digital radio show Monday, O’Reilly expounded on his experience at the party, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
He said he had a chance for a private conversation with Sanders and offered to join her on the dais at a White House news briefing
“I said, ‘Ms. Sanders, with all due respect, if you ever need me to stand next to you in those press briefings, I will volunteer to do that. And, if somebody gets out of line, I will tell them exactly what I think of their behavior,'” O’Reilly said.
“I told her that she is doing a great job, in the sense that it’s not a partisan play,” he said. “She’s representing her country in very difficult circumstances, extremely difficult, and she’s a patriot — you know, she’s taken enormous amount of abuse, enormous.”
That correspondents’ association dinner was a low point, and just thinking about how O’Reilly might have turned over a table or two during “comedian” Michelle Wolf’s monologue is enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face. (A “donnybrook,” as O’Reilly’s Irish ancestors might have called it.)
Still, with all due respect to O’Reilly, Sarah Huckabee Sanders doesn’t seem to need any help at all riding herd on people like Acosta and CNN’s April Ryan.
But the line about O’Reilly getting his big hands around Acosta’s neck was probably a joke she actually enjoyed.
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