White House says ESPN host Jemele Hill should be fired for calling Trump a ‘white supremacist’

He can't be a white supremacist because he's met black people before, says the press secretary.

Michael Smith, left, and Jemele Hill attend the ESPN Super Bowl XLIX Party on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP)
Michael Smith, left, and Jemele Hill attend the ESPN Super Bowl XLIX Party on Friday, Jan. 30, 2015 in Scottsdale, Ariz. (Photo by Scott Roth/Invision/AP)

Donald Trump became a household name by “firing” people on national television; now, it seems his administration is trying to fire people they don’t even employ.

Earlier this week, while ESPN host Jemele Hill was interacting with her followers on Twitter, she called President Trump a “white supremacist who has largely surrounded himself w/ other white supremacists.”

Her statement was picked up by right-wing sports media figures, and then ESPN poured gasoline on the fire when they released a statement on Tuesday saying that Hill’s comments “do not represent the position of ESPN.”

“We have addressed this with Jemele and she recognizes her actions were inappropriate,” the statement concluded.

That could have been the end of the story. But Fox News would not let it go, and apparently, neither will the White House.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked about Hill’s tweets during her daily briefing on Wednesday, and said they should be considered a “fireable offense.”

“I’m not sure if [Trump’s aware of the comments.] That is one of the more outrageous comments that anyone could make and is a fireable offense by ESPN,” Sanders said.

When pressed about why influential African American figures such as Hill believe that Trump — who hires, promotes, and defends white supremacists — was a white supremacist, Sanders noted that Trump had met black people before.

“I’m not going to speak for that individual,” she said. “I know the president has met again with people like Senator Scott, who are highly respected leaders in the African American community. He’s committed to working with them to bring the country to work together. That’s where we need to be focused, not on outrageous statements like that one.”

Last month, Trump praised some of the participants of a violent, white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. White supremacists openly cheered his comments. As recently as Tuesday, the White House refused to commit to signing a joint congressional resolution condemning white supremacists.