David Bossie, a former Trump campaign official, apologized on Twitter for telling a black Fox News panelist that he was “out of his cotton-picking mind.”


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Bossie made the comment to fellow panelist, Joel Payne, during a heated discussion on Fox & Friends involving likening the Trump administration’s practice of separating families at the border to Nazi actions during the Holocaust. Payne was momentarily stunned by the comment before responding with, “Cotton-picking mind? Brother, let me tell you something, I’ve got some relatives who picked cotton.”

Although Fox declined to say whether Bossie, who joined Fox News in 2017, would be suspended after his on-air controversy, a spokesperson said in a statement, “David Bossie’s comments today were deeply offensive and wholly inappropriate. His remarks do not reflect the sentiments of Fox News and we do not in any way condone them.


Later in the day, Payne appeared on MSNBC and said the two had a “terse” exchange, during which Bossie expressed “some regret.” Four and a half hours after the TV segment, Bossie tweeted his apology. Although Payne said on MSNBC he accepted the apology, but his comments prompted “frustration” among minorities.

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“Our family and people like us have worked very hard to come up over the years,” Payne, whose great-grandfather and namesake was a sharecropper, said. “And so, to have someone kid of reduce our experience and try to make light of that experience – which I imagine Mr. Bossie was doing – that was offensive and that was unacceptable to me.”

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