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Trump on Roseanne controversy: Why hasn't ABC apologized to me?

The president tweeted that "HORRIBLE" things had been said about him on the network and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders followed up by naming names and shows that had offended.
Image: Donald Trump
President Donald Trump speaks to the media before boarding Marine One helicopter on May 23.Jacquelyn Martin / AP

President Donald Trump made his first comments about the Roseanne Barr controversy on Wednesday, criticizing ABC for apologizing to the former Obama adviser targeted by Barr in a racist tweet and claiming the network has ignored "horrible" remarks made about him.

"Bob Iger of ABC called Valerie Jarrett to let her know that 'ABC does not tolerate comments like those' made by Roseanne Barr," the president tweeted, referring to the CEO of Disney, which owns ABC. "Gee, he never called President Donald J. Trump to apologize for the HORRIBLE statements made and said about me on ABC. Maybe I just didn't get the call?"

Trump didn't comment on Roseanne's tweets or the cancellation of her show on Tuesday, including during a campaign rally in Nashville, where he made no mention of it.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders had sidestepped questions from reporters on Tuesday when asked about the president's opinion on the Roseanne controversy.

"That's not what the president is looking at. That's not what he's spending his time on," she told reporters on Air Force One. "I think that we have a lot bigger things going on in the country right now, certainly that the president is spending his time when it comes to policy."

It was not clear which comments on ABC Trump was referring to in his tweet, butlater Wednesday Sanders named specific performers and incidents.

"Where was Bob Iger's apology to the White House staff for Jemele Hill calling the president, and anyone associated with him, a white supremacist, to Christians around the world for Joy Behar calling Christianity a mental illness?" Sanders asked during the press briefing. "Where was the apology for Kathy Griffin going on a profane rant against the president on 'The View' after a photo showed her holding president Trump's decapitated head?"

Hill, who at the time hosted SportsCenter, was reprimanded by ESPN's president for the comments and voluntarily left the show. Behar later apologized for her remarks, which were directed specifically at Vice President Mike Pence's religious beliefs.

"Where was the apology from Bob Iger for ESPN hiring Keith Olbermann after his numerous expletive-laced tweets attacking the president as a Nazi and even expanding Olbermann's role after that attack against the president's family?

"This is a double standard that the president is speaking about, no one is defending her (Roseanne's) comment, they're inappropriate, but that is the point he was making," Sanders said, adding that the president was calling out "media bias."

ABC canceled the hit sitcom "Roseanne" on Tuesday after Barr, the show's namesake and star, sent a racist tweet calling Jarrett a "child" of the Muslim Brotherhood and "Planet of the Apes."

"Roseanne's Twitter statement is abhorrent, repugnant and inconsistent with our values, and we have decided to cancel her show," ABC said in a statement canceling the show.

Barr later apologized for the comments and later added that she had been under the influence of the prescription sleeping aid Ambien.

Jarrett responded to Barr's comment on Tuesday, saying that ABC made the right decision in ending the show. She also confirmed that Iger had called her before the network's announcement.

"First of all, I think we have to turn it into a teaching moment. I'm fine. I'm worried about all the people out there who don't have a circle of friends and followers coming to their defense," Jarrett said during a town hall on MSNBC called "Everyday Racism in America."

In March, Trump called Barr, who plays a Trump supporter on the show and is also one in real life, to offer congratulations on the premiere of the sitcom's reboot, which returned to ABC this year more than 20 years after it ended after a nine-season run.