Bill O’Reilly is very, very concerned that Tavis Smiley thinks Donald Trump is a “racial arsonist.” O'Reilly insisted, "I have known the man for a long time. I have never seen him do anything racial."
During an interview with Tavis Smiley this week, O’Reilly seemed determined to prove that his milkshake BFF, Trump, is not a racist.
O’REILLY: What comment set you off? What did he say?
SMILEY: You are off the air at 8:50, you ain’t got enough time for me to run—
O’REILLY: Just give me one.
SMILEY: Oh, come on! You’re wasting good television time, Bill. His anti-immigrant stance. His anti-Muslim stance. His maltreating and that of his supporters the maltreating of African-Americans in the audiences at these rallies. Don’t ask a silly question. You know better than this.
O’REILLY: It is not silly though. If you look at the context - and I’m not defending Donald Trump’s policies. The folks can decide that. But if you look at the context of protecting Americans from a flood of immigrants that come in here illegally. And also Muslim refugees who are not vetted very well, as the FBI director said he couldn’t do, it’s not an attack on a race that he’s doing. It’s a policy, it’s hard, it’s harsh, but it’s policy.
SMILEY: It’s not just harsh, Bill. He’s painting with a broad brush and it has the tone of xenophobia with it when he does that. If I were going to take Dylan Roof, the unrepentant Dylan Roof who walked into that black church in South Carolina, and use that example to paint every white male in America, you wouldn’t like that and that’s what Donald Trump does to Muslims and with Hispanics.
O’REILLY: But there wouldn’t be any policy around Dylan Roof. What I’m disturbed at, when you say he’s a racist...
SMILEY: A hate crime that is against the law. That is a policy, Bill.
O’REILLY: Yes. But there isn’t a policy that connects to the nation. When you use the word, "racial arsonist," okay, that conjures up to me David Duke and these kinds of people - who their sole reason for being is to run down blacks or Hispanics or Muslims or whatever.
SMILEY: And it took Mr. Trump too long -
O’REILLY: He’s not that way.
SMILEY: It took Mr. Trump too long to come around to denouncing one David Duke and others with the robocalls.
O’REILLY: But Travis… you make mistakes and so do I. That doesn’t mean—
SMILEY: Bill, that’s not a mistake. That’s not a mistake.
O’REILLY: I have known the man for a long time. I have never seen him do anything racial.
SMILEY: Listen, you live your life by a certain set of immutable principles. I live my life by a certain set of principles. And when you live your life by a certain set of principles, there are some mistakes you just don’t make. It’s fundamentally who you are. And this election is fundamentally about what kind of nation that will be.
O’REILLY: All I can tell you is that I‘ve known the man a long time and I have never seen him cast aspersions at any group at all.
SMILEY: You might not have seen it but the rest of the country has, all during this campaign.
O’REILLY: Okay. I have been around him much more.
Watch the denial above, from The O’Reilly Factor on April 5.
Crossposted at News Hounds.
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