Fox News says it will not be inviting back a retired military general after he called Sen. John McCain “Songbird John” during a guest appearance on the network.
Tom McInerney was interviewed by Fox Business host Charles Payne Thursday, during which the former Air Force general accused McCain of providing information to the enemy while being held prisoner in the Vietnam War.
McInerney’s comment came in response to McCain’s opposition to President Trump’s nominee for CIA chief, Gina Haspel, due to fear she would reinstate harsh interrogation techniques.
The guest claimed, “Well she can’t use it anymore because we have determined in Congress that it’s not legal. The fact is, is John McCain — it worked on John. That’s why they call him ‘Songbird John.’”
McCain — a decorated war hero and recipient of the Purple Heart and Prisoner of War medals — was held captive for nearly six years by the North Vietnamese.
In 2008, Politifact labeled the theory McCain had assisted his captors as false. Following Thursday’s episode, Payne apologized for not correcting McInerney while on the air, posting to Twitter, “My Apology to Senator McCain and his Family: This morning on a show I was hosting, a guest made a very false and derogatory remark about Senator John McCain. At the time, I had the control room in my ear telling me to wrap the segment, and did not hear the comment.”
On Friday, a Fox spokesperson said McInerney will not be allowed back.