Fox News' Bill O'Reilly responded to Vladimir Putin's demand for an apology in the opening to his show Monday and it was as cantankerous as many would expect from the anchor.
"My interview with President Trump making headlines all over the world," O'Reilly said, then launched into an attack into competitors. "It's interesting to watch our two competing cable news stations which hate, hate Mr. Trump to an unhealthy degree, try to analyze what the president told me. I thought Donald Trump was straight-forward and honest in that in that interview, whether you liked his answers or not. But the Trump haters were desperately trying to find something which which to hammer the president."
Trump's answer, "you think our country's so innocent?" seemed to equate killings undertaken by Putin to those made by the United States in the conduct of war. Critics saw this as an unprecedented moral equivalency between unlawful assassinations of journalists and political dissidents allegedly by Putin, to lawful acts by the U.S. in war.
O'Reilly continued on to reference the demand from Putin.
Also apparently the Putin administration in Moscow 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.
He finished by recommending his viewers look into the "violent history of Vladimir Putin."
A Putin spokesman had made the demand during a conference call Monday.
We consider such words from the Fox TV company to be unacceptable and insulting, and honestly speaking, we would prefer to get an apology from such a respected TV company.
Critics of President Trump have cited his reticence to criticize Russia and its president, and a willingness to defend illegal acts suspected of Putin. One of the more contentious scuffles the Trump administration engaged in was to fight back against reporting from CNN that Russia obtained damaging personal information on the 45th president.