CNN anchor Don Lemon fired back against Fox News host Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday over accusations that Lemon was refusing to cover allegations that former Obama official Susan Rice improperly “unmasked” Trump aides.
“False,” Lemon tweeted. “I did not refuse to cover the story. But I did cover your sexual harassment allegations. Did you?”
The controversy stems from Lemon’s Monday night segment, when he set out to debunk allegations that for political purposes, Rice, then national security adviser to President Barack Obama, had requested the identification of Americans mentioned in intelligence reports. Lemon said there was no evidence to support those claims and referenced a Washington Post column to support his points on the baselessness of the accusations.
“There is no evidence whatsoever that the Trump team was spied on illegally,” Lemon told his “CNN Tonight” audience. “There is no evidence that backs up the president’s original claim.”
“And on this program tonight,” he continued, “we will not insult your intelligence by pretending otherwise, nor will we aid and abet the people who are trying to misinform you, the American people, by creating a diversion.”
On Tuesday, O’Reilly sent out a tweet claiming Lemon “refuses to cover Susan Rice story” and highlighting a clip of Lemon’s segment:
And Lemon fought back. He brought up the Fox News host’s problems with female colleagues.
The New York Times reported on Saturday that O’Reilly or his employer had agreed to pay $13 million in settlements to five women who alleged sexual harassment or verbal abuse. Since then, O’Reilly has faced serious public backlash, and at least nine companies have pulled advertising from his show, including Mercedes-Benz and Hyundai.