Tuesday, 7 February 2017
Following Fox news’ Billy O’Reilly’s comments in an interview with U.S President Donald Trump, where he called Russian President Vladimir Putin ‘a killer’, Russia has now asked the television station to apologize over what the Kremlin sees as ‘unacceptable’ and ‘insulting’ comments by its presenter towards the Russian leader.
Putin and Trump spoke on the phone last Saturday and discussed co-operation in the fight against Isis among other things, but when O’Reilly asked him why he respected Putin so much knowing Putin was a killer, Trump replied;
“There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
“I think our country does plenty of killing also, Joe, so you know. There’s a lot of stupidity going on in the world right now, a lot of killing, a lot of stupidity,”
‘Just because I respect someone doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with them.”
“He’s a leader of his country and I say it’s better to get along with Russia than not, and if Russia helps us in the fight against ISIS, which is a major fight, and Islamic terrorism all over the world, a major fight — that’s a good thing. Will I get along with them? I have no idea,”
Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, on Monday in response to O’Reilly’s statement said to CNN: “We think that such words from a correspondent of the Fox News network are unacceptable, offensive, and we would, honestly, prefer to receive apologies from such a respected TV company,” “As to the statement of the US president, in this case I would prefer to leave it without any comment.”
Billy O’Reilly, responding to Russia’s request for an apology said; “Apparently, the Putin administration in Moscow [is] demanding that I — your humble correspondent — apologize for saying ‘Old Vlad’ is a killer,” O’Reilly said on his Fox show late Monday night.
“So I’m working on that apology, but it might take a little time. Might want to check in with me around 2023.”