Following the Tuesday night Republican presidential debate, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and contributor Charles Krauthammer debated whether Donald Trump was serious when he said he would kill the family members of Islamic State militants.
The real estate mogul has previously said he would go after terrorists’ families, and on Tuesday night confirmed he would be open to such a strategy, despite Sen. Rand Paul’s (R-KY) note that doing so would violate the Geneva Convention.
Trump responded to Paul’s remark by asking, “They can kill us, but we can’t kill them?”
Following the debate, Krauthammer said Trump’s defense was “nonsensical.”
O’Reilly argued that Trump likely would not kill terrorists’ family members, and only says he would in order to win votes.
“Trump never goes and says, ‘I’m going to kill the family members.’ He says, ‘I’m going to take them out’ or ‘I’m going to treat them rough.’ You know what I’m talking about,” O’Reilly told Krauthammer.
“No, I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Krauthammer hit back.
“It’s designed to get votes. It’s designed to get people emotionally allied with him,” O’Reilly said in response.
“I don’t care what the motivation is, that I want to elicit an emotion. He says this stuff,” Krauthammer said, adding that Trump did not take the opportunity during the debate to clarify that he would not actually go after innocent family members.
“You believe that Donald Trump would murder people if he were President of the United States?” O’Reilly then asked.
“If he doesn’t want to, why did he say it?” Krauthammer asked in response.
O’Reilly later said that he was not trying to justify Trump’s comments, but merely explaining that Trump’s remarks are a ploy to win votes.
Krauthammer then asked O’Reilly if he approves of Trump’s “demagoguery.”
“I can’t really say whether I approve of it or not,” O’Reilly said, adding that Trump does sometimes go “overboard.”
Watch the exchange via Fox News: