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Bill O’Reilly defends Megyn Kelly in new interview

Bill O'Reilly attends the Hollywood Reporter's 2016 35

Bill O'Reilly attends the Hollywood Reporter's 2016 35 Most Powerful People in Media at Four Seasons Restaurant on April 6, 2016, in Manhattan. Photo Credit: Getty Images / Ilya S. Savenok

Bill O’Reilly came to the defense of former Fox News colleague Megyn Kelly in the course of an extended interview posted online early Wednesday.

Asked in the interview — which appeared on Hollywoodreporter.com — about Kelly’s summer magazine series for NBC News, he said: “I feel bad for her because it’s the same old game; you build them up and tear them down. I mean, what has Megyn Kelly done wrong? I don’t get [the media criticism]. She worked her way up from being a reporter, and now she’s making good money, and she’s in a good position. So what has she done wrong? You don’t like her haircut? Is that it? I don’t get it.”

NBC and Kelly — who launches a new daytime show Sept. 25 — were criticized for giving a platform to Infowars host Alex Jones on the June 18 edition, of “Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly” because of his repeated claims that the massacre at Sandy Hook had been a hoax.  O’Reilly said he hadn’t seen the interview —  “No, I didn’t. I’m busy” — but added, “I watched the Putin interview because I want to interview Putin. And if Putin and I ever got together, that would be an event.”

Kelly’s Putin interview aired on her inaugural June 4 broadcast and garnered mostly tepid reviews.

Of the interview, O’Reilly said: “Well, Putin is scary. And I knew as soon as I saw Putin’s facial expression what he was going to do with Megyn Kelly. That he was going to deny everything. It doesn’t matter how much evidence she had, he was going to deny it.”

Kelly  and O’Reilly — forced out of Fox News in mid-April over allegations of sexual harassment — had a strained history, according to reports that surfaced in the wake of her decision to join NBC.

During the Hollywoodreporter.com interview, O’Reilly was also asked what he “missed most” about his TV run:

“I don’t miss a lot. This summer, I realized it was much nicer to be out in the ocean than it was to be in the studio. The business got really nasty. What people don’t realize is that I was under attack constantly for 16 years. Once I became No. 1, once we passed Larry King, it was every single day. And then, as social media grew and got wildly out of control, the attacks got more vicious, more disgusting. Then you have the business, you have the competition. I mean, you don’t think those people are sad that I’m not sitting in that chair anymore, do you?”

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