The Kremlin demanded an apology from Fox News after the network’s Bill O’Reilly called President Vladimir Putin “a killer.”
Vladimir Putin’s press secretary has demanded a formal apology from the cable news network after Bill O’Reilly called the Russian president “a killer” during an interview with U.S. President Donald Trump that aired before Sunday’s Super Bowl.
“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,” Dmitry Peskovtold told reporters on a conference call on Monday, according to Reuters.
A Fox News spokesperson told Variety that O’Reilly will respond to the Russian government’s request for an apology on his show, “The O’Reilly Factor,” at 8 p.m. ET tonight.
During the pre-taped interview, Trump said Putin — like all presidents — deserves respect. “Will I get along with them? I have no idea,” Trump said.
“He’s a killer, though,” O’Reilly interjected. “Putin’s a killer.”
“We’ve got a lot of killers,” Trump responded. “You think our country’s so innocent?” The statement has since drawn criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.
“I don’t know of any government leaders that are killers,” the “O’Reilly Factor” host said.
Trump added: “Well, take a look at what we’ve done, too. We’ve made a lot of mistakes. I’ve been against the war in Iraq from the beginning.”
When O’Reilly insisted that “mistakes are different,” Trump said there are “a lot of killers around.”
Trump has come under fire for his views on Putin following a U.S. intelligence report that accused Putin and the Russian government of pre-election hacking. The report concluded that Putin and the Russian government “aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary [Hillary] Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have a high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.”