In his first interview since being sacked by Fox News, former talk show host Bill O’Reilly gave “three reasons” why he thinks Donald Trump fired ousted FBI director James Comey.
He also called his own firing a “hit,” and said, “this crew that goes in and terrorizes sponsors … that pays people to say things. We are going to name them,” promising an “exposition” on his firing soon.
Here’s what O’Reilly said on the Comey matter, speaking to Glenn Beck for the first time since Fox let O’Reilly go in the midst of a scandal over sexual harassment allegations:
You can listen to Beck’s full interview here:
In the interview, O’Reilly was unrepentant and had harsh words for the news media.
He said he felt bad after being fired for himself and his listeners. He said he was “shocked” when he learned he was being fired from his attorneys.
The reasons for Comey’s firing have been much dissected; Trump and the White House say the FBI director was fired because of his mishandling of the Hillary Clinton email investigation. Some Trump critics have accused the president of pulling off the watchdog in the midst of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between members of his campaign and Russian interference in the presidential election.
O’Reilly’s three theories? It all boils down to Trump not trusting Comey, O’Reilly told Beck. Specifically:
- Trump considered Comey too unpredictable.
- Trump was upset that Comey wasn’t aggressively investigating the leaks that have hampered his administration.
- Trump didn’t trust that Comey would conduct an “honest investigation” over the Russian allegations.
As for O’Reilly’s firing, here’s what Fox said at the time:
After the sexual harassment allegations consumed O’Reilly, Trump defended the host. Despite 21st Century Fox reaching multiple settlements in sexual harassment claims against O’Reilly, settlements revealed in the New York Times, President Trump said he doesn’t think the O’Reilly Factor host has done anything wrong. In fact, the president told the New York Times that he didn’t think O’Reilly should have settled.
O’Reilly and the network have shelled out about $13 million over the years to settle sexual harassment and verbal abuse claims made against him, The New York Times reported. After that story broke, sponsors withdrew from O’Reilly’s program, and, a short time later, Fox got rid of him.
You can read details about some of the sexual assault allegations here: