But oh, did their producers ever book the wrong guest.
The show began the segment by playing video from last weeks Democratic primary debate for Arizonas 2nd Congressional District, in which candidate Ann Kirkpatrick was booed for being the sole participant to offer unqualified support for U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE).
Fox host Jillian Mele then wound up for some slow-pitch softball: And joining us now, that candidate. The only Democrat on stage to support ICE. Ann Kirkpatrick, thank you for joining us, we appreciate it. Tell us why you do support ICE.
Good morning. Im actually here to speak directly to Donald Trump, the woman began, appearing via satellite. I feel that whats happening at the border is wrong. Im a mother of four and I believe that separating kids from their parents is illegal and inhumane.
And without pausing, she revealed herself: Im actually Barbara LItalien. Im a state senator representing a large immigrant community. Im running for Congress in Massachusetts. I keep thinking about what were putting parents through and imagining how terrifying that must be for those families, imagining how it would feel not knowing if Id ever see my kids again. We have to stop abducting children and ripping them from their parents arms, and stop putting kids in cages, and stop making 3-year-olds defend themselves in court.
Co-host Rob Schmitt, realizing the planned message had been hijacked, attempted to interrupt LItalien, telling her: That practice has stopped at this point, Ms. Kirkpatrick, right?
Again, my name is Barbara LItalien, she explained before continuing to rail against Trump policy, while a confused Schmitt asked his co-host: Who is this? (Its Barbara LItalien; she only said it twice in a minute.)
All right, lets move on, Mele said after control-room operators cut LItalien off.
That didnt go as planned, Schmitt observed.
Thats what happens sometimes, Mele concluded.
While initially unclear how LItalien ended up on Fox & Friends in place of a woman running for Congress 2,500 miles away, the show claimed in a statement that theyd been duped.
This morning we invited Congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick to appear on Fox & Friends First through her press contact on file Joe Katz, who accepted the invitation on Kirkpatricks behalf, the shows executive producer Desiree Dunne wrote. Katz followed with an email confirming the segment, which also included background information and a campaign logo for Ann Kirkpatrick. During the actual segment, Barbara LItalien, appeared on camera instead of Kirkpatrick. Despite speaking to producers prior to the interview, LItalien did not identify herself as anything other than Kirkpatrick until she was live on air, at which point we ended the interview.