Donald Trump Kicks Off Sexual Assault Awareness Month By Defending Bill O'Reilly

The president said the Fox News host "shouldn't have settled" in lawsuits accusing O'Reilly of sexual harassment.

President Donald Trump said he doesn’t think Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, who has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, did anything wrong.

In an interview with The New York Times on Wednesday, Trump defended O’Reilly after the Times reported that O’Reilly or Fox News paid five women a total of about $13 million to settle claims of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior over the years.

“I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump said on Wednesday.

“I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled,” Trump added. “Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

O’Reilly has so far stayed silent on the scandal, despite losing at least 15 advertisers for “The O’Reilly Factor,” his primetime Fox News show.

Trump’s comments echo statements he made about former Fox News chief Roger Ailes in July 2016, amid another sexual harassment scandal at the network. Trump claimed Ailes’ accusers had received help from Ailes and then said “these horrible things about him.”

“It’s very sad. Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he’s done. So I feel very badly,” Trump told NBC.

More than a dozen women have accused Trump himself of sexual assault. Trump called them liars and threatened to sue them after the 2016 presidential election ended, but so far has taken no legal action.

The Washington Post unearthed a video in October of Trump claiming he can grab women “by the pussy” because he is a celebrity. He dismissed the comment, which was made in 2005, as “locker room talk.”

Last week, Trump declared April National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.

Read more at The New York Times.

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