Bill O’Reilly’s going to get right on that apology to Vladimir Putin.
The Fox News host responded Monday on “The O’Reilly Factor” to a demand from a Russian government official that O’Reilly apologize for calling Russia’s President Putin “a killer” during an interview with President Donald Trump.
“Apparently the Putin administration in Moscow is demanding that I, your humble correspondent, apologize for saying old Vlad is a killer. So I’m working on that apology but it may take a little time. You might want to check in with me around… 2023,” O’Reilly said during Monday’s telecast. He then played a clip of Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov suggesting O’Reilly apologize for the comment.
In an interview that aired before Sunday’s Super Bowl on Fox Broadcasting, Trump told O’Reilly that Putin deserves respect. “Will I get along with them? I have no idea,” Trump said.
“He’s a killer, though,” O’Reilly interjected. “Putin’s a killer.”
That response drew the ire of officials in Moscow. Speaking to reporters Monday, Peskov said, “We think that words like that coming from the Fox correspondent are unacceptable, offensive and to be honest, we would prefer to get an apology to the President coming from such a respected company.”
The remainder of O’Reilly’s interview with Trump also aired Monday night on “The O’Reilly Factor.”
Experts on Putin and Russia have linked him to the bombing of two Russian apartment buildings in 1999 in which hundreds of people died, as well as the deaths and disappearances of many journalists and political opponents since he gained power that year.