During a rousing discussion on Fox & Friends Friday morning, former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski got worked up about one of conservatives’ favorite topics: the so-called “war on Christmas.”
Or, in this instance, the war on Christmas trees.
“There’s a new fad, Corey, we’ve got to get your insight on this,” host Pete Hegseth said, opening the segment. “The upside-down Christmas tree. You can buy it for a cool grand at Target. …Americans are burning to know what Corey Lewandowski thinks of the implications of such a fad.”
Visibly annoyed, Lewandowski — who currently serves as a senior adviser and spokesman for the pro-Trump America First Action super PAC — responded by launching into a monologue about Seinfeld, holiday traditions, and members of Congress (specifically Democratic Minnesota Sen. Al Franken) misbehaving.
“You know, I don’t even know what it means to have an upside-down Christmas tree,” he replied. “It’s like an upside-down world. It’s like Seinfeld, it’s like the bizarro world. Like, you can be a U.S. senator after groping people on, you know, a picture, and no one has any accountability for it. That’s what the upside-down Christmas tree means to me.”
Lewandowski wasn’t finished.
“I mean, it’s everything that is wrong,” he continued. “Look: we have traditions in our country that many people respect, that we should respect, that we’ve passed on to our children. Look, a Christmas tree is one of those traditions. And if you don’t want to participate in Christmas or Hanukkah, whatever your holiday is, you don’t have to. But I don’t even know what an upside-down Christmas tree means.”
After host Molly Line joked that Lewandowski had taken a “hardline stance” on the otherwise trivial issue, co-host Griff Jenkins pushed the former Trump adviser even further on the issue.
“Cory, can we put you on record that you will inform us immediately if you learn that the first family is turning their Christmas tree upside down?” he asked.
A smiling Lewandowski responded, “I can be sure that the first family will not be turning their tree upside down. They like this country and our traditions.”
Hegseth followed up the moment by quipping that perhaps “the Russians might like their Christmas trees upside down”, a jab at the ongoing investigation into the Trump campaign for possibly coordinating with Russian officials during the 2016 election season. “I don’t know. Maybe collusion?” he joked.
The Christmas tree controversy wasn’t the only apparently offensive subject the Fox & Friends panel tackled on Friday morning. During the same segment, host Hegseth launched into his own mini-rant about political correctness and the holiday season.
“The president has emphasized, we’re gonna call — it’s not ‘the holidays’, it’s ‘merry Christmas’, right? We’re gonna say ‘merry Christmas’, we’re not gonna bow to political correctness,” he said.
President Trump indeed touted that same line many times over the last two years. At the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. this past October he told attendees at the conservative Christian conference that “people…don’t use the word Christmas because it’s not politically correct”, thought he didn’t specify to which “people” he was referring.
“We’re getting near that beautiful Christmas season that people don’t talk about anymore,” he said at the time. “They don’t use the word Christmas because it’s not politically correct. You go to department stores and they’ll say ‘Happy New Year,’ or they’ll say other things and it’ll be red, they’ll have it painted. But they don’t say… well guess what? We’re saying merry Christmas again.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) December 10, 2016
Merry Christmas, everybody. They reminded me, we’re going to start saying “merry Christmas” again. …How about all those department stores? They have the bells, and they have the red walls, and they have the snow, but they don’t have “merry Christmas.” I think they’re [now] going to start putting up “merry Christmas.”
Fortunately for President Trump, Fox News, and Lewandowski, it is still perfectly legal in the United States to both say “merry Christmas” and buy whatever kind of Christmas tree you prefer.