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Major business group scrambles to distance itself from Fox’s Ingraham after speech at their luncheon goes off the rails

Laura Ingraham (Flickr/Gage Skidmore)

At an annual luncheon held by the most powerful business group in Louisiana, conservative pundit Laura Ingraham defended Confederate general Robert E. Lee — and caused the pro-Trump group to walk back their support of her.

New Orleans’ Times-Picayune reported Friday that the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, a group that’s publicly endorsed multiple decisions made by President Donald Trump, issued a statement distancing the group from their keynote speaker’s remarks.

“Ingraham … expressed her views on several national social and political issues, some of which are not reflective of the opinions held by the diverse membership of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry,” their statement read. “LABI has a long history of listening to all perspectives in a bipartisan manner to develop solutions to Louisiana’s challenges.”

During her speech, the Fox radio shock jock criticized New Orleans’ decision to take down statues of Confederate generals, defended Lee’s honor and made fun of the #MeToo campaign to highlight workplace harassment. She also made a joke critical of New Orleans Mayor Rich Landrieu, and also targeted Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), NBC host and former Fox coworker Megyn Kelly, former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, former President George W. Bush and the FBI.

“Ingraham closed her speech by suggesting she might buy property in Louisiana and run for governor of the state,” the Times-Picayune noted, “an especially awkward comment because Gov. John Bel Edwards had also talked at the luncheon and was still sitting in the crowd during her remarks.”

In the fallout from the speech, LABI would not explain to the Times-Picayune how Ingraham, who is known for her controversial remarks, was chosen as their keynote speaker, nor how much they paid her. The paper did learn, however, that she was flown to Baton Rouge on a private jet owned by Cajun Industries, whose owner is a Republican donor and LABI member.

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Noor Al-Sibai: