The ultra-conservative host posted a pair of awkward tweets that he later deleted and tried to explain away.
Kelly wrote that knowing the secretary of defense (William Cohen) was white when he was a U.S. Marine pilot “made a big difference with ‘morale.’” In another tweet, he said knowing that then-President Bill Clinton was “a Caucasian male” made “it all worthwhile.”
Kelly followed up by writing that “being a MARINE had nothing to do with RACE.” He also noted that former New York Mayor David Dinkins (which he misspelled as Dinkens) officiated at his wedding in 2017. Dinkins, who died in 2020, was New York’s first Black mayor.
In a response posted by The Washington Post’s Jeremy Barr (who also posted the original tweets), the network said Kelly’s messages were sarcastic attempts at anti-racism. “We at Newsmax never countenance the posting of racist views or views that appeal to racists,” Newsmax said in a statement. “We are currently reviewing the matter.”
In another layer of his I-am-not-racist sandwich, Kelly reminisced about Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s hit “Ebony and Ivory” on Newsmax Friday. He praised the lyrics of “living in perfect harmony,” but griped: “Right now white people are at the bottom of the heap for all the terrible things they’ve done over the years.”
This article originally appeared on HuffPost and has been updated.