Fox News Host Laura Ingraham, Catholic League President Mock Nathan Phillips' Marine Corps Service, Say He's 'Attacking Catholics'

Fox News host Laura Ingraham and Catholic League President Bill Donohue railed against Native American activist Nathan Phillips' so-called "anti-Christian, anti-Catholic" contempt, comparing a Saturday mass confrontation to "Nazi" tactics.

Ingraham brought the longtime head of the Roman Catholic advocacy group on her program Tuesday and announced she was investigating Phillips' "seething contempt for the Catholic faith" in the wake of the incident last Friday involving the Covington Catholic High School students in "MAGA" hats. The Fox News host mocked his military service with the U.S. Marine Corps during the Vietnam War era and highlighted a Saturday incident in which Phillips led 20 activists to interrupt a Catholic Mass at Washington D.C.'s Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.

Ingraham and Donohue, neither of whom ever served in the military, ridiculed Phillips' service with the U.S. Marine Corps from 1972 to 1976 because he was never deployed to active combat duty in Vietnam. Donohue mocked Phillips, "this guy is a Vietnam era vet. Guess what? So am I. I'm a senior citizen. He's not. Yet he's regarded as a frail elder. This guy is an activist, this guy is a thug!"

Laura Ingraham, Bill Donohue
Fox News host Laura Ingraham and Catholic League President Bill Donohue railed against Native American activist Nathan Phillips' so-called "anti-Christian, anti-Catholic" contempt, comparing a Saturday mass confrontation to "Nazi" tactics. Screenshot: Fox News

Several prominent military veterans from the Marines and other branches of the U.S. Armed Forces describe Phillips as a "non-combat veteran."

Donohue led off the interview by saying "it wasn't the white kids who called the Indians savages, it was the black thugs," in reference to the extremist fringe sect of Black Hebrew Israelites who were also present at the Lincoln Memorial confrontation Friday.

"He didn't go after the blacks, did he -- the Hebrew Israelites," Donohue said. "No, he went after the Catholic Church. He tried to storm the church! That's what the Nazis did in Germany, they went into the synagogues to disrupt their services."

Donohue was responding to Ingraham's reading of a Detroit Free Press article in which Phillips told the newspaper the Black Israelites "were saying some harsh things, but some of it was true, too." An anonymous guard at the Basilica of the National Shrine during the Saturday interruption told Fox News "It was really upsetting...There were about twenty people trying to get in, we had to lock the doors and everything."

Ingraham took issue with NBC News and other news outlets offering a correction after initial reports labeled Phillips a Native American activist who "fought in the Vietnam War." However, the Washington Post noted Phillips served in the Marines from 1972 to 1976 but "was never deployed to Vietnam" during that time.

The Washington Post also noted in their correction Phillips only said he served in the U.S. Marines, but had never claimed to reporters he actively fought in the Vietnam War before U.S. military forces were chased out of the country in 1975.

"A Vietnam era vet -- still important but nevertheless a correction in order," Ingraham sneered. The Fox News host said she spoke to an anonymous former Marine who took issue with the "phraseology" of Phillips "passing himself off as a Vietnam vet."

Donohue, who has served as president of the highly conservative Catholic League since 1993, said that of the three groups at the Friday incident -- the Covington Trump hat kids, the Black Hebrew Israelites and Phillips -- "only one wasn't involved in anything racist. And that was the white kids."

"The Indians with their taunting the kid [Nick Sandmann] the Indians with their making, uh, storming the church," Donohue told Ingraham Tuesday. "The blacks made comments about blacks which are racist, whites which were racist. They attacked Puerto Ricans. They attacked Catholics. They called the Indians savages and somehow the only group which did nothing to provoke any of this is the one being blamed by the left media."