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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Trump defending O'Reilly is CYA

by digby

So Trump granted an Oval Office interview today to the New York Times. He accused Susan Rice of committing a crime saying it was the biggest scandal in the history of the world. And he defended Bill O'Reilly who's settled half a dozen sexual harassment cases for millions of dollars saying "I don't think he did anything wrong."

Reminder: O'Reilly drinks a lot and he often goes on the air drunk. Recall this program after the Detroit debate last spring:

Just after the debate ended, there was O’Reilly, mic in hand, approaching Trump about the night at the podiums. To be precise, the idiocy started at 11:02 p.m.: “I don’t know who this guy — he’s been following me around all day. Now look, we’re standing mano a mano here, you’re not gonna be taller than me,” said O’Reilly alongside Trump. Whatever that was supposed to mean. Lame, vacuous, inside-softball questions ensued — about Mitt Romney’s speech hammering Trump — “You think he’s a phony?” O’Reilly asked — and about Hillary Clinton. All the sort dialogue you’d expect O’Reilly and Trump, who are longtime friends, to enjoy over a pair of vanilla milkshakes.

Four minutes — that’s as long as O’Reilly could go without making himself the center of the action. At 11:06, he uncorked this self-centered inquiry: “Now, are you getting mad at guys like me when I ask you the negative questions?” A clown show erupted, as Trump accused the host of becoming “very negative” and suggested that he consult his “psychiatrist” to figure out why. Trump then introduced O’Reilly to his wife, Melania, and son Eric. But O’Reilly wouldn’t let go the question of his treatment of Trump. “I want to get back to this. I think I’ve been very fair.” When Trump disagreed, O’Reilly petitioned for an example of his unfairness. Trump declined. “Come on,” lamented O’Reilly.
That’s right — just moments after his network had highlighted a number of important national issues — minus climate change, of course — O’Reilly spotted a new, more pressing matter: himself. Fox News viewers had already seen O’Reilly’s insecurity vis-a-vis Trump in a September interview in which O’Reilly repeatedly wondered if he was being fair.
I watched it. The interviews with the other candidates were just as bad. He even hiccuped a few times. Indeed, O'Reilly's frequent appearances on his show half in the bag are legendary and are great fodder for comedians on Youtube.

So here you have a guy who is clearly drinking on the job and harassing women left and right in the grossest fashion. And the president of the United States defends him saying he did nothing wrong. And he does this even after he himself was caught on tape making lewd comments about women and admitting to assaulting them. That's nuts.

But then, Trump helped his pal Roger Ailes find a lawyer when he was accused last year of the same thing. And President Trump's Justice Department is investigating his good friend Bill O'Reilly's network over charges that they secretly paid out vast sums of money to settle these and other sexual harassment claims illegally. Trump undoubtedly knows about that too. He and his family are good pals with Rupert Murdoch, Roger Ailes and Bill O'Reilly.

Does anyone think it's appropriate for him to be sitting in the Oval Office defending O'Reilly under those circumstances?

It's small potatoes considering the millions in graft and corruption in which he's implicated already, but Trump knows he needs Fox News and he needs it badly. He's protecting himself.

They're all pigs of the same variety, every single one of them.