‘I didn’t see that coming’: ‘The Five’ reacts to KKK McConnell hit, ‘I just can’t believe they played the race card in impeachment.’

Fox News’ Jesse Watters blasted former White House ethics lawyer Richard Painter for his “atrocious comparison” of Sen. Mitch McConnell to a KKK trial judge.

The co-host of “The Five” called out the “bomb-throwing” on news outlets as he reacted to comments Painter made on CNN when he brought up the Ku Klux Klan in an attack on the Senate Majority Leader.

(Video: Fox News)

Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum fired back at Painter’s “absurd” remarks during a CNN panel discussion after he criticized McConnell’s announcement that he would handle the Senate’s impeachment trial of President Trump in “coordination” with the White House.

“For Mitch McConnell to say he’s working with the White House [and] coordinating with the defendant in this trial — before the trial has even begun — is atrocious,” Painter had said. “He may think he’s a judge empaneling an all-white jury for a Klansman trial in Mississippi in 1965. That’s not the kind of trial we have.”

“You know — this is — I’m sorry — You’re being absurd!” Santorum interrupted. “The Senate is the one that gets to make the rules, and there’s no requirement in the Senate to listen to witnesses.”

“I’m glad Santorum pushed back there,” Watters said Friday. “An atrocious comparison. You come to expect this.”

“You’ve got to be careful with the talking points,” former Ohio Democratic state lawmaker Capri Cafaro said.

“Invoking the Ku Klux Klan is like people throwing around ‘Nazi’ — You can say the same kind of thing without being that incendiary, make your point without invoking the Klan, please,” she added.

“I think they incentivize some of this bomb-throwing on cable TV,” Watters said.

Co-host Dana Perino, who briefly worked with Painter when she served White House press secretary under former President George W. Bush, remarked that he “seems to have no Ku Klux idea what he’s talking about.”

Watters remarked that he was surprised how racism was being injected into impeachment discussions.

“I just can’t believe they played the race card in impeachment. I didn’t see that coming,” he told his co-hosts who then turned the focus on coordinated Democrat “talking points” that seem to repeat the same keywords in pressing their anti-Trump narrative.

(Image: Fox News screenshot)

“We’ve been told in politics to stay on message,” Cafaro said. “But you know what, the American public is sick of people staying on message and I think that the last few years have proven that.”

The panel noted how liberal talking heads on various media outlets were praising House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for her “masterful” decision to withhold the impeachment articles against President Donald Trump from McConnell, thereby delaying a Senate trial.

Florida Republican Congressman Matt Gaetz slammed Pelosi’s move this week, likening her to “some demented non-Santa Claus not delivering the gifts to the children.”

Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich advised Democrats to work on using different talking points because it’s “so obvious that everyone is using the same word.”

“If you’re saying what you’re being sent in emails and everyone is saying the same thing,” Pavlich argued, “and you’re then invoking the Klan and racism, you’ve already lost the argument.”

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Frieda Powers

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