Tucker Carlson mocks Buttigieg over paternity leave

Fox News host Tucker CarlsonTucker CarlsonRittenhouse says he's destroying gun used in fatal Kenosha shootings NBA's Enes Kanter: Americans criticizing their country should 'keep their mouth shut' The serious and growing danger of vigilantism MORE mocked Transportation Secretary Pete ButtigiegPete ButtigiegBiden's proposals spark phase 2 of supply chain crisis Biden returns restores tradition, returning to Kennedy Center Honors The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Congress avoids shutdown MORE on Thursday for taking paternity leave following the birth of his adopted twins.

"Pete Buttigieg has been on leave from his job since August after adopting a child. Paternity leave, they call it. Trying to figure out how to breastfeed, no word on how that went," Carlson said on his prime-time show.

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Buttigieg announced in early September that he and his husband Chasten had welcomed twins — Penelope Rose and Joseph August. The two, who have been married since 2018, have previously said they wanted to start a family. 

Politico reported on Thursday that Buttigieg had been on paid leave since mid-August.

The comments from Carlson, whose employer has a six-week paternity leave policy, come as his own colleagues have praised the very policy he criticized.

“Now I am pro-paternity. I used to mock people for taking paternity, I used to think it was a big ruse, but now, ya know, I wish I could take six weeks," fellow Fox News host Jesse WattersJesse WattersTucker Carlson mocks Buttigieg over paternity leave Fox News signs book deal with HarperCollins 'Five' co-host Greg Gutfeld: We are hypocrites for COVID-19 advice MORE said in mid-April. Watters took time off following the birth of his third child.

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Earlier this year, “Fox & Friends First” co-host Todd Piro also said that he would be taking off six weeks through the company’s paternity leave. 

Carlson’s remarks prompted an uproar from Democrats and other critics after video of the segment made the rounds on social media.

White House aides on Friday highlighted messages on Twitter supporting Buttigieg and criticizing Carlson. Some aides also took issue with Politico's original characterization in a Thursday newsletter that Buttigieg has been "MIA" — or missing in action — from his job. 

“To call parenting your newborns being ‘MIA’ is to render invisible every single working parent in this country,” tweeted White House communications director Kate BedingfieldKate BedingfieldBiden aides offer praise for Harris after critical CNN report 'Finally, infrastructure week!': White House celebrates T bill Tucker Carlson mocks Buttigieg over paternity leave MORE. “Outdated, embarrassing and unacceptable."

“Tucker belittles a Navy vet for being a good dad, throwing not-so-thinly veiled homophobic jabs, and lying through his teeth about current affairs,” read one tweet from the progressive political action committee Vote Vets that called Carlson "pathetic" and was retweeted by a White House aide.

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiAustralia joins US in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Olympics Biden Supreme Court study panel unanimously approves final report White House: Biden would veto GOP resolution to nix vaccine mandate MORE said she's proud to work with people like Buttigieg "who are role models on the importance of paid leave for new parents."

—Updated at 1:20 p.m.