Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly doesn’t think it was his “job” to defend his colleague Megyn Kelly from a barrage of attacks by presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump.
“It was not my job to intrude on the Fox News Channel hierarchy, which was handling the controversy,” O’Reilly said in a Q&A with the Hollywood Reporter published Wednesday. “Why am I going to get in the middle of that? [Chairman] Roger Ailes is a genius at handling this stuff. I am not going to make his life harder by putting my big mouth in the middle of this thing.”
Kelly said in March that she wished O’Reilly had come to her defense when Trump went after her during the GOP primary race. The real estate mogul claimed he had “zero respect” for Kelly while appearing on “The O’Reilly Factor” in January, soon after dropping out of a Fox News-hosted debate because Kelly was moderating.
“I do wish that O’Reilly had defended me more in his interview with Trump. I would have defended him more,” Kelly told More Magazine.
Trump, who had spent months calling Kelly a “bimbo,” accelerated his attacks after Kelly’s interview with More was published, tweeting that she was “crazy” and “highly overrated.”
The two have since made up. In May, Kelly sat down with Trump for a 20-minute special that aired on Fox broadcasting and was widely panned as a softball interview.
As O’Reilly told the Hollywood Reporter, “Megyn’s come out of it fine. Big star and doing well.”