"I don't think Bill did anything wrong", Trump told The New York Times.
I have written before about allegations of sexual harassment against O'Reilly, and why I think they are commonplace among older men in the "news" business, especially at an outlet purposely stocked with as many young and attractive women like Fox News. O'Reilly, in a statement posted on his website on Saturday, said he had been unfairly targeted because of his prominence.
Trump defended his longtime friend, calling O'Reilly a "good person", and that he fought the claims.
"Do you really want to take advice on cultural trends from a pervert - a certified sexual harasser - such as O'Reilly?"
If this news cycle dies fairly quickly, then I think we won't see much change at Fox News.
But major advertisers of "The O'Reilly Factor" are steering clear of the program in light of the report that first appeared in The New York Times and led the National Organization for Women and other advocacy groups to call for Fox News to fire O'Reilly. With his right-wing, and sometimes controversial viewpoints, O'Reilly's show is a cash cow for the network, generating millions of dollars in advertising revenue for Fox. O'Reilly has denied wrongdoing and said he supported the settlements so his family wouldn't be hurt.
"We still live in a he-said, she-said culture, unfortunately, and they're not going to believe you", she said.
Fox News paid O'Reilly $18 million in 2016, and his contract with the network expires this year.
"Advertisers are very risk averse", said Larry Chiagouris, a Pace University marketing professor.
Her lawsuit, filed Monday, says a promised position on the Fox show "The Five" never happened after she rejected Ailes' sexual advances.
The California congresswoman dubbed Fox News a "sexual harassment enterprise", alluding to similar accusations leveled against former CEO Roger Ailes, and called for O'Reilly to be criminally prosecuted. One media buyer suggested marketers will have a hard time abandoning the program because of its strong, steady ratings performance. Prosecutors have declined to discuss the case, but a lawyer for one of the alleged harassment victims has said his client received a subpoena from a grand jury looking into whether Fox News sought to hide settlements.
Following Waters' comments, O'Reilly responded by mocking her, saying afterward he did not hear a word of what Waters said because he was distracted by "the James Brown wig".