On Wednesday, Republican Party Chair Ronna McDaniel said that President Joe Biden was to blame for a Christmas tree fire at Fox News.
After Fox News host Sandra Smith asked McDaniel for a prediction on the outcome of the 2022 midterm elections, she referenced the tree fire.
“What this poll is telling us is we’re going to take back the House and the Senate and the American people want a change,” McDaniel opined. “Biden is underwater. Harris’s approval is under 30% and Republicans are more trusted on three key issues: the economy, inflation, and crime.”
“And these are issues we’re seeing every day on our streets, around our homes, in our communities, on the news,” she continued. “Look at your Christmas tree that was just burned down. This is a huge problem for Democrats.”
The Christmas tree that was set on fire outside the Fox News building in Midtown was swiftly replaced.
The tree was set on fire on Wednesday, but it was quickly replaced and re-lit the next day.
This holiday tradition has only been going on for three years at this location. At the corner of West 48th Street and 6th Avenue, a 50-foot Christmas tree stood.
It had been erected for only three days when it was set on fire shortly after midnight on Wednesday.
Craig Tamanaha, 49, the suspect, was apprehended on the spot.
He allegedly climbed up the metal structure and pushed newspapers into exposed places before lighting them on fire with a lighter, according to police.
Criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, arson, criminal annoyance, endangering others, criminal trespass, criminal tampering, and disorderly behavior are among the charges he faces.
He’s been arrested three times before, once for narcotics possession and once for public intoxication.
Investigators believe Tamahana attempted to set fire to the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, which is just a few blocks away.
Tamahana was placed on supervised release, which means he must report to someone who will report to the court as soon as Thursday.
“I have been thinking about lighting the tree on fire all day,” the criminal complaint reads.
Mayor-elect Eric Adams spoke out on bail reform on Thursday morning.
“That’s probably a picture-perfect example, not having the discretion to do a profile of the person that is in front of you,” Adams said. “This guy has clearly made a decision that I’m going to continue to wreak havoc. Arson is a serious crime.”
The Christmas tree outside of Fox News has caught on fire. pic.twitter.com/No7SVK0JeF
— Adam Parkhomenko (@AdamParkhomenko) December 8, 2021
Onlookers were taken aback.
“It’s an assault on Christmas,” said tourist Rob Davanzo..
“My sister called me from Colorado, said someone burned the tree. And now I came, and it really happened,” a spectator said.
“I’m looking at the trees that are burnt. My husband is a big Fox News fan. I told them if we’re in the area we’ll get our picture taken in front of the tree. And there’s no tree,” a tourist said.
The 50-foot-tall tree is said to have 10,000 glass ornaments and 100,000 lights, according to the business. It takes around 21 hours to put together.
The cost of the damage was estimated at $500,000.
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