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O'Reilly to Newsmax: Comey's Testimony Vindicates Trump

Newsmax TV with Bill O'Reilly

By    |   Thursday, 08 June 2017 04:53 PM

Former FBI chief James Comey vindicated President Donald Trump from wrongdoing in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, Bill O'Reilly told Newsmax TV.

"I think he told the truth, that a lot of these stories [about Trump obstructing justice] were false," O'Reilly told Newsmax's John Bachman in his first major TV interview since being ousted from Fox News.

"The New York Times, The Washington Post – they were lies," said the former host of "The O'Reilly Factor." "But he as the FBI director couldn't go out and refute them.

"His opinion is his opinion, and so he says 'well, we were really mad that the FBI was disparaged by Donald Trump and it was a lie.' Well, it's his opinion, and Comey's entitled to it. But I think he testified honestly about the timeline and what happened."

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O'Reilly said he saw three headlines out of Comey's testimony before the Senate, which is probing Russia's interference with the 2016 presidential election and whether there was any collusion between the Kremlin and Trump's campaign.

"Number one, Trump told the truth when he said Comey told him three times he was not under investigation," O'Reilly said. "That's confirmed. 

"Number two, the investigation by the FBI has not led to anything at this point and time that would rise to a criminal prosecution.

"Number three, Russia did meddle [and] did try to create chaos in the American election."

O'Reilly said Trump did make some missteps in his private discussion with Comey about former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant general who was forced to resign after it was revealed he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his contacts with Russia.

"Flynn had inappropriate contacts with Russia. The vice president found out about it, Flynn lied to Pence, and that's why Flynn was fired.

"After the firing, the president had a conversation alone with James Comey who said 'Okay, Flynn's out. Can you lighten up on this?' Inappropriate, should not have done it," O'Reilly told Bachman.

"Then we learned that Comey himself, because he was disturbed about that conversation, wrote memos . . . and he discusses it with his guys at the FBI. But they decide 'look we don't know what the intent was, so we're not going to report it, or we're not going to do anything. We're just going to put it in the drawer.'

"After Comey's testimony [Thursday], there really aren't any grounds to continue with the hysteria against President Trump.

"He made some mistakes, the president did. Number one, he met with Comey alone. A president can't do that. He can't be alone with anybody. Number two, he did say, and I believe he said it, 'Can you lighten up on Gen. Flynn?' after Gen. Flynn was fired. Can't do it."

O'Reilly said whether Trump made that pitch to Comey "for personal reasons because he felt sorry for Flynn and his family" or because "he didn't want the Flynn stuff to be fully measured in the press" is something "nobody knows."

"Mr. Trump has to protect himself, and he's got to understand that a president saying to the FBI director 'can you lighten up?' is going to come back to bite him, which it did."

O'Reilly said he was "disturbed" by Comey's admission he leaked details of the private meeting with Trump to The New York Times through a friend as way of trying to get a special prosecutor appointed to investigate.

"A friend isn't entitled to see FBI confidential memos. They weren't classified, but they were confidential. And the friend gives it to The New York Times? The FBI director does this? That's basis for firing," O'Reilly said.

O'Reilly said an impeachment case against Trump is a no-go for now.

"You can't bring a case against anybody for saying 'gee, I hope Gen. Flynn or anybody else, I hope he doesn't go through the grinder.' You can't bring a case about that," O'Reilly said.

O'Reilly, 67, who presided over his nightly ratings powerhouse "The O'Reilly Factor" on the Fox News Channel for two decades, now hosts a podcast called "No Spin News."

His latest historical book is called "Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies: The Civil War," published by Henry Holt.

The book is the newest installment in The New York Times #1 bestselling companion series to the Fox historical docudrama, "Bill O'Reilly's Legends and Lies," the deadliest war in American history. The book chronicles the birth of the Republican Party, the Confederacy's first convention, the Underground Railroad, the Emancipation Proclamation, the Battle of Gettysburg, and assassination of Abraham Lincoln.

"It's is the third in a series of 'Legends and Lies,' and we're in the middle of a civil war right now in America," O'Reilly told Newsmax TV.

"The real Civil War, which was the low point in American history, there's a lot of myths surrounding it, as you know. So, we take this book, and we walk through, and it's a beautiful book. It's got a lot of illustrations, Americans nine to 90 will enjoy it, and that's my goal: to make history fun.

"To make it come alive, and to have people absorb knowledge at the same time, become literate on why their country was so divided back in the 1860s. It's relevant today. We're a divided nation today."

O'Reilly was forced out of Fox in April after The New York Times reported five women had received $13 million in payouts in exchange for not pursuing lawsuits or baring allegations of sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior.

He denied the allegations — saying he settled the cases to spare his family. His attorney, Marc Kasowitz, said O'Reilly was the target of a "smear campaign" financed by left-wing advocacy groups.

O'Reilly's departure followed last year's resignation of Roger Ailes, the CEO who founded Fox News Channel in 1996. Ailes died May 17.

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Former FBI chief James Comey vindicated President Donald Trump from wrongdoing in his testimony before the Senate Intelligence Committee on Thursday, Bill O'Reilly told Newsmax TV.
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Thursday, 08 June 2017 04:53 PM
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