During an interview with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, Fox’s Bill O’Reilly attempted to soften the candidate’s attacks against Gold Star family member Khizr Khan by erroneously claiming Khan was “hired” by the Clinton campaign to come after him during the Democratic National Convention. This claim comes after Trump launched a series of attacks against Khan, calling his convention speech “vicious” and claiming the father of the fallen soldier has “no right” to attack him. Additionally, Trump allies and surrogates have attacked the Khan’s with baseless smears, including claims that they are agents of the Muslim Brotherhood, and have a secret agenda to implement Sharia law in the United States. According to CNN’s Brian Stelter, Khan confirmed he has “no formal association” with the Clinton campaign.
O'Reilly last hour: Khan was "obviously hired by the Clinton campaign."
Khan on phone with me now: "No. No formal association w/campaign."
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) August 3, 2016
From the August 2 edition of Fox News’ The O’Reilly Factor:
BILL O’REILLY (HOST): It will never stop. Look, here is what your supporters want to know and some people are undecided who you need to persuade over to your camp. It wasn't wise to bring the mother in. I understand Khan. And I got that you know, he is going to come after you and he was obviously hired by the Clinton campaign to do that. It was orchestrated as we just said in the talking points. Everybody knew the script. But the mother is just sitting there. And for you to bring her in, that gives them the opportunity. Just opens the door for them to come in and hammer you as this mean kind of guy.
DONALD TRUMP: I understand that, but, you know, part of it is I read a lot and I watch a lot. And many, many people discuss this. Many, many people they said it. So, when I said it, it became like a big deal. And that's, you know, the way it is. But I was very viciously attacked and I said not very viciously back. And the press -- especially CNN because they are very dishonest. They must be having very bad ratings problems or something which actually I hear they are. But they just kept it going and it never stopped. And honestly, it’s too bad.