After accusing the president of being a white supremacist on Twitter back in September, ESPN anchor Jemele Hill is doubling down on her insult.
“I don’t take it back,” she said when the subject was brought up on former NFL star Arian Foster’s podcast “Now What?” on Wednesday. “I thought everybody knew; I thought, you know, I was saying water was wet. I didn’t think I was saying anything that was shocking.”
Hill wasn’t initially suspended for tweeting, “Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has surrounded himself with other white supremacists” in addition to calling the president a “bigot” and “the most ignorant, offensive president of my lifetime.” However, the network eventually pulled her off-air for two weeks in October after they determined she had violated their social media guidelines a second time by calling on fans to boycott the Dallas Cowboys’ advertisers after owner Jerry Jones threatened to bench players who refused to stand for the national anthem. She later apologized — not for her comments, but for how they made ESPN a “punching bag” for the president and his supporters.
“My comments on Twitter expressed by personal beliefs,” she said at the time. “My regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light. My respect for the company and my colleagues remains unconditional.”
Despite President Trump himself responding to her original jab by mocking the network’s ratings and Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders calling Hill’s tweet a “fireable offense,” the anchor still stands by what she said and even laughed that getting a reaction from the president would be in her obituary.
“I said what I said and I don’t take it back,” she told Foster, who asked, “No retraction?”
“No, I never have and I never will,” she said.