Bill O'Reilly joked he was "so angry" he failed to come up with the latest line that has landed Hillary Clinton in trouble with Donald Trump supporters, but thinks she should have known better about saying it.
"I was so angry — that I didn’t think up the line, 'basket of deplorables.' I love that line!" the Fox News host and commentator said Tuesday on TODAY.
However, O'Reilly noted that the line was written out ahead of time, and included on a teleprompter from which Clinton read during a fundraiser, so she should have expected to get slammed for it. He compared it to when former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told his supporters that 47 percent of all Americans "believe they are victims" entitled to help from the government.
"She was going to get hammered. So I’m thinking to myself, why would you put yourself in that position, to give Trump this big hammer? And that’s exactly what happened," O'Reilly said.
Clinton made the comment last Friday night at a fundraiser, during which she called Trump supporters a “basket of deplorables” who are racist, sexist, homophobic and xenophobic. Clinton has since apologized for her “grossly generalistic” comments.
O’Reilly wouldn't comment on whether the remarks revealed insight into how Clinton feels about certain parts of the population, saying, "I'm not a psychologist."
"All I know, it was not a good political move," he said.
O'Reilly, who just released his newest book, “Killing the Rising Sun: How America Vanquished World War II Japan,” also defended his former boss and Fox founder, Roger Ailes, who stepped down as chief executive following sexual harassment charges from former employee Gretchen Carlson. O'Reilly called Ailes "the best boss I've ever had," but said he knows absolutely nothing about the legal case against him.
"I work for this company, and I don’t really have any insight into anything, so for once in my life, I’m going to keep my big mouth shut," he said, later adding he feels "very bad" for the Ailes family.