Jesse Watters reportedly caused an “epic meltdown” at an insurance conference in April after the Fox News personality made a joke about Vice President Kamala Harris that left the audience “appalled” and in an “outrage.”
Watters, who has been tapped to take over Tucker Carlson‘s old time slot, was invited to the Big “I” Legislative Conference, “the signature annual event hosted by the Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America.” According to CNN, Watters was personally invited by the organization’s retiring president, Bob Rusbuldt, who interviewed the Fox News host to disastrous results. Watters reportedly made a “crude comment questioning the gender” of the Vice President, which prompted people to walk out of the room.
“It was an epic meltdown afterward,” a source told CNN. “The organization went into damage control.”
The chat between Watters and Rusbuldt, which continued on after the appalling remark, had immediate consequences. Rusbuldt, who was set to officially retire in August, apologized to those gathered at the diversity-focused luncheon later that day. But ultimately it was not enough to quell the outrage. He was later quietly sidelined from most duties at the insurance organization.
Watters reportedly has “no recollection” of the ensuing fiasco, but a Fox News spokesperson disputed CNN’s version of events.
“In fact, the unscripted Q&A he participated in was well received with executives thanking him profusely afterward, enthusiastically taking photos, and presenting him with an award,” the spokesperson said. “He was told it was one of the best talks they’ve ever held and never received feedback from the organization or his speaking agent after the event.”