Bill O'Reilly has established a pattern of justifying Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's policy positions and inflammatory rhetoric, defending the candidate even while disagreeing with him.
O'Reilly Points Out “Where Donald Trump Is Correct” In Offensive Claim That Muslims Should Be Banned From U.S.
Trump Advocates “Complete Shutdown Of Muslims Entering The United States.” On December 7, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump's campaign published a press release “calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on” :
Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on. According to Pew Research, among others, there is great hatred towards Americans by large segments of the Muslim population. Most recently, a poll from the Center for Security Policy released data showing “25% of those polled agreed that violence against Americans here in the United States is justified as a part of the global jihad” and 51% of those polled, “agreed that Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to Shariah.” Shariah authorizes such atrocities as murder against non-believers who won't convert, beheadings and more unthinkable acts that pose great harm to Americans, especially women.
Mr. Trump stated, “Without looking at the various polling data, it is obvious to anybody the hatred is beyond comprehension. Where this hatred comes from and why we will have to determine. Until we are able to determine and understand this problem and the dangerous threat it poses, our country cannot be the victims of horrendous attacks by people that believe only in Jihad, and have no sense of reason or respect for human life. If I win the election for President, we are going to Make America Great Again.” [DonaldJTrump.com 12/7/15]
O'Reilly Criticizes Trump's Muslim Immigration Ban, Then Points Out “Where Donald Trump Is Correct.” On the December 8 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, host Bill O'Reilly criticized Donald Trump's proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., calling it “simply bad anti-terror policy to overreact and prohibit Muslims.” In his conclusion however, O'Reilly claimed that “where Donald Trump is correct” was to criticize the “political correctness and weakness” of the Obama administration and Democratic Party (emphasis added):
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): Donald Trump shaking up politics once again. That is the subject of this evening's “Talking Points Memo.” Last night in South Carolina, Mr. Trump called for a total ban of Muslims entering the U.S.A. He believes most Americans would support that prohibition and says we have to do it to protect ourselves against the jihad. Almost immediately hysteria broke out.
O'REILLY: Now let's examine this without emotion or agenda. OK? Both can cloud thinking. The federal courts would never, never allow the government to deny anyone entry solely on the basis of religion. So the whole discussion is really moot. Good night, everyone. As with revoking the citizenship of so-called anchor babies, a ban on Muslims traveling to the U.S.A. will never happen. However, however, the feds do have an obligation to deny visas to anyone who might cause harm to the country. Thus, people living in countries where jihad and terrorism are rife can and should be scrutinized, with the burden of proof being put upon those who want to come here. Homeland security should deny visas to any questionable person, period. But a complete ban of Muslims would actually hurt the war on terror. Here's the crux of the matter, which I will discuss with Mr. Trump here tomorrow on The Factor. The U.S. and other western nations need moderate Muslim countries to fight the jihadists. The West can't defeat the jihad without the help of Jordan, Egypt, to some extent Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and the rest of the Gulf States. We need them to cooperate with us militarily and with intel. By saying all Muslims can't come to the U.S.A., that means that King of Jordan can't come. So, it is simply bad anti-terror policy to overreact and prohibit Muslims, even if you could, which you can't. It is long past time for Americans to see the jihad for what it is, a movement that seeks to destroy Western civilization. Someone tell President Obama. But the majority of Muslims do not support jihad and some will actually fight against it. Those people should be applauded, not demonized. But, and here is where Donald Trump is correct, the Obama administration is losing the fight against ISIS, as “Talking Points” clearly said last night. Political correctness and weakness, rank weakness, now dominate Washington. Many of our politicians are afraid to confront evil. I'm talking to you, Democratic Party. We, the people must rise up and demand to be protected. Demand that the war be waged against the jihad in a smart and aggressive way. With the presidential election next year, it is now on us to elect a new leader who has the guts and the intelligence to fight Islamic terrorism and defeat it. Believe me, this is 1938 all over again. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 12/9/15]
O'Reilly Justifies Trump's False Claim That He Saw Thousands Of Muslim Americans Celebrating 9/11
Donald Trump Repeats Claim That Thousands Of Muslim Americans Celebrated The 9/11 Attacks. At a December 1 New Hampshire event, Donald Trump doubled down on his claim that he witnessed thousands of Muslim Americans celebrating the attacks on September 11, 2001 in New Jersey. A Trump campaign advisor pointed to clips from New York's WCBS and MTV in 2001 as evidence, but according to CBS News, neither source “showed a large celebration” like Trump had claimed:
At a nighttime rally in New Hampshire, Trump dismissed the rest of the GOP pack and repeated his debunked claim that he saw thousands of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on Sept. 11, 2001.
“I think they're weak, generally. You want to know the truth but I won't say that,” he said. “I saw it and a lot of people saw it.”
As proof, he cited a newspaper article, and his campaign adviser cited clips from New York station WCBS and MTV in 2001 - neither of which showed a large celebration.
“There has been no jubilee in the streets, nobody thinking this is a great or glorious idea,” a local official said in the MTV interview. [CBSNews.com, 12/2/15]
O'Reilly Tells Trump, “You Were Wrong By Saying Thousands” Of Muslims Celebrated 9/11 Before Clarifying, “But It Did Happen.” On the December 3 edition of his show, O'Reilly challenged Trump's claim that he saw thousands of Muslims cheering on 9/11 in the U.S. O'Reilly aired a 2001 WCBS-TV report that “found eight men celebrating” but told Trump that he found “no videotape about, you know, thousands of people celebrating. It doesn't exist, and we really looked everywhere. I mean it's just not there.” Immediately after debunking Trump's claim however, O'Reilly clarified “but there were people celebrating ... you were wrong by saying thousands, but it did happen.” [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 12/9/15]
O'Reilly Defends Trump's Tweet With Racist, Inaccurate Crime Statistics, Claiming He “Never Saw Any Racism From” Trump
Donald Trump Retweets Graphic Falsely Claiming Over 81 Percent Of Whites Who Are Murdered Are Killed By Blacks. On November 22, Trump shared a graphic on Twitter inaccurately claiming that 81 percent of whites are killed by black assailants. The graphic cited the Crime Statistics Bureau - San Francisco, which does not exist, as its source:
-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2015
O'Reilly Claims He “Never Saw Any Racism From” Trump, Moments Before Highlighting Trump's Racist, Inaccurate Tweet. During a November 23 interview with Trump, O'Reilly told Trump that he “never saw any racism from you,” moments before he debunked Trump's tweet falsely claiming that whites are killed by blacks “at a rate of 81 percent.” O'Reilly called the statistics “totally wrong” and chastised Trump for not checking them. He concluded the exchange by saying Trump's tweet handed “the other side ... stuff to tell the ill-informed voter that you are a racist” :
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): Are you aware that the liberal media and the Democratic Party in general are trying to paint you as a racist? Are you aware of that?
DONALD TRUMP: I think so. But I think people know better than that. I'm probably the least racist person on Earth.
O'REILLY: Well I have known you a long time --
TRUMP: I think people know better than that.
O'REILLY: --and I never saw any racism from you. However, when you tweet out a thing, and this bothered me, I got to tell you. You tweeted out that whites killed by blacks -- these are statistics you picked up from somewhere -- at a rate of 81 percent. And that's totally wrong. Whites killed by blacks is 15 percent, yet you tweeted it was 81 percent.
TRUMP: Bill, I didn't tweet. I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert and also a radio show.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but you don't want to be -- why do you want to be in that zone?
TRUMP: Bill. Bill. Am I going to check every statistic? I get millions and millions of people @realdonaldtrump by the way.
O'REILLY: You got to. You are a presidential contender you got to check it.
TRUMP: I have millions of people. You know what, fine, but this came out of radio shows and everything else.
O'REILLY: Oh come on, radio shows?
TRUMP: Excuse me. All it was is a retweet. It wasn't from me. And it did. It came out of radio show and other places because you see all the names --
O'REILLY: Look, you know I'm looking out for you, right? You know that? That I'm looking out for you? I look out for every honest politician, I don't care what party they are in. Don't do this. Don't put your name on stuff like this. Because it makes the other side, it gives them stuff to tell the ill-informed voter that you are a racist. I mean, you just handed them a platter. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 11/23/15]
O'Reilly Says Trump “Bring[s] Things To America That Are Worthy And Positive” After Trump's Vicious Attacks Against Megyn Kelly
Trump Lashes Out At Fox News' Megyn Kelly After Debate. Following the Fox News Republican primary debate, in which moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump about his history of disparaging and sexist comments towards women, Trump criticized Kelly, saying she was “the biggest loser in the debate,” according to The Washington Post. [The Washington Post, 8/7/15]
Trump: Kelly Had “Blood Coming Out Of Her Wherever” During Debate. In an August 7 interview with CNN's Don Lemon, Trump continued to criticize Megyn Kelly, saying, “You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes ... Blood coming out of her wherever” :
Donald Trump's feud with Megyn Kelly escalated Friday night when he said the Fox News host had “blood coming out of her wherever” at this week's Republican debate, resulting in swift condemnation from conservatives and a major political event pulling its invitation to him.
During Thursday's presidential debate, Kelly pressed Trump about misogynistic, sexist comments he made in the past, such as calling some women “fat pigs, dogs, slobs, and disgusting animals.”
Trump slammed Kelly, saying her questions were “ridiculous” and “off-base.”
“You could see there was blood coming out of her eyes,” Trump told CNN's Don Lemon on Friday night. “Blood coming out of her wherever.” [CNN, 8/8/15]
Trump Retweets Post Calling Kelly “The Bimbo.” On August 24, Donald Trump reignited his attacks on Megyn Kelly by retweeting a post saying “The bimbo back in town. I hope not for long” and also tweeting “I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!”
-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2015
I liked The Kelly File much better without @megynkelly. Perhaps she could take another eleven day unscheduled vacation!
-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 25, 2015
Despite Trump's Sexist And Outrageous Attacks Against His Colleague Megyn Kelly, O'Reilly Says “They Both Bring Things To America That Are Worthy And Positive.” On the August 25 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly called on Donald Trump to cease his attacks on Fox host Megyn Kelly. Though O'Reilly said that Kelly took “the high road by not responding” to the attacks, but offered Trump support by saying “they both bring things to America that are worthy and positive” :
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): And finally tonight, the Factor Tip of the Day. Loyalty. Last night after speaking with me here on the Factor, Donald Trump once again tweeted some not nice things about Megyn Kelly. Not good. The debate issue should be buried. It's over. Folks can make up their own minds about it.
Fox News chief Roger Ailes once again stood up for Megyn because Roger's a loyal guy, and as the general here, he protects his troops. Roger Ailes has defended me countless times against unfair assaults by vicious media people. The Kelly/Trump story is relevant to me because I'm friends with both of them. They both bring things to America that are worthy and positive. Ms. Megyn has taken the high road by not responding. Donald Trump should cease, and Roger Ailes is a stand-up guy. Factor Tip of the Day. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 12/9/15]
After Trump Said Sen. John McCain Is “Not A War Hero,” O'Reilly Excused The Comments, Claiming “I Know He Thinks He's A Hero”
Donald Trump: John McCain Is “Not A War Hero.” Speaking at a July 2015, Republican presidential forum in Ames, Iowa, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized former prisoner of war Senator John McCain (R-AZ), saying, “He's not a war hero. He's a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren't captured.” [The New York Times, 7/18/15]
Bill O'Reilly Excuses Trump's Attacks On John McCain: “I Know He Thinks He's A Hero.” After Trump received widespread condemnation for his remarks attacking John McCain, Bill O'Reilly spent a segment of his July 20 show defending Trump from criticism. O'Reilly dismissed the comments by saying that Trump doesn't mean “half of what he says” before claiming that “I know he thinks [John McCain's] a hero” :
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): I don't want to play psychologist here, but I've known the man for a long time. And I go to games with him, you know, and all that. And we both get booed and cheered. I don't think he means half of what he says. He's a showman. He needs to get attention. I just don't think he, I know he doesn't think John McCain -- I know he thinks he's a hero. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 7/20/15]
O'Reilly Justifies Trump's Nasty Comments About Mexican Immigrants, Says Trump Just “Didn't Speak To It In A Specific Way”
Trump: “When Mexico Sends Its People ... They're Bringing Drugs. They're Bringing Crime. They're Rapists.” Donald Trump characterized Mexican immigrants as criminals and “rapists,” saying that “the U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems” during his presidential campaign announcement speech on June 16:
The U.S. has become a dumping ground for everybody else's problems.
Thank you. It's true, and these are the best and the finest. When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best. They're not sending you. They're not sending you. They're sending people that have lots of problems, and they're bringing those problems with us. They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.
But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we're getting. And it only makes common sense. It only makes common sense. They're sending us not the right people. [Time, 6/16/15]
O'Reilly: Maybe Trump Was Inartfully “Highlighting A Problem ... That Is Harming The Nation And Just Didn't Speak To It In A Specific Way.” On the June 29 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly justified Donald Trump's remarks about Mexican immigrants by claiming that maybe “he was highlighting a problem ... that is harming the nation and just didn't speak to it in a specific way.” Continuing his defense of Trump, O'Reilly said he didn't “think Donald Trump was trying to demonize all Mexican people” :
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): OK. Could an argument be made that he was highlighting a problem, Trump was, that is harming the nation and just didn't speak to it in a specific way --
BRIT HUME: I agree.
O'REILLY: Rather than, you know, trying to demon -- I don't think Donald Trump was trying to demonize all Mexican people. I think he was trying to show that the present administration and the country itself doesn't have the will to stop the carnage. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 6/29/15]
O'Reilly: “It's Not Ordinary Mexicans Doing The Raping, It's The Gangsters, And Trump Should Have Made That Clear.” On the July 6 edition of The O'Reilly Factor, O'Reilly doubled down on his justification of Trump's comments calling Mexican immigrants “rapists.” O'Reilly speculated that “the rape situation Donald Trump mentioned” must have been referring to the sexual molestation of women by people smuggling them across the border. He went on to say,"[I]t's not ordinary Mexicans doing the raping, it's the gangsters, and Trump should have made that clear":
BILL O'REILLY (HOST): The primary mistake Donald Trump made in his campaign kickoff speech was speaking too generally about the border problem. Most Mexicans who sneak into the U.S.A. or overstay their legal visitation status do so because they are economically deprived. They are largely undereducated folks trying to feed their families. Also the vast majority of illegal aliens do not, do not commit crimes while on American soil apart from their immigration offenses. But there are very big problems stemming from Mexican illegal immigration, and the stats tell the truth. As we all know, Mexico is the major supplier of illegal drugs into the U.S.A. The drug cartels down there have corrupted the police and many politicians. They're brutal thugs who commit mass murder, torture, and generally shame their nation.
O'REILLY: Some of the drug organizations have branched out now into people smuggling, charging money to get desperate migrants across the border. In the process, many, perhaps most, migrant women are sexually molested. And that was the rape situation Donald Trump mentioned. But it's not ordinary Mexicans doing the raping, it's the gangsters, and Trump should have made that clear. [Fox News, The O'Reilly Factor, 7/6/15]