“He’s using this terrorism issue to bolster his popularity,” the ‘The O’Reilly Factor’ host told Stephen Colbert on ‘Late Show.’
When Bill O’Reilly visited Monday’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, the late-night host didn’t waste much time before turning talk to Donald Trump and his reaction to Sunday’s massacre in Orlando.
After a brief opening about the shooting from Colbert, he and the Fox News Channel commentator took to comparing how the two presumptive presidential nominees reacted to the worst mass shooting in the history of the U.S. — Hillary Clinton was quick to release a statement while Trump drew backlash over a “congrats” tweet about being “right on Islamic terrorism.”
“It’s a political response,” said The O’Reilly Factor host about Trump’s tweeting.
But Colbert pressed him. “There are other politicians who would not say, ‘I appreciate the congrats,’ or ‘I called it.’ That’s not political behavior, that’s grandstanding,” he said, earning cheers from the studio audience.
“He wants to be president. He’s using this terrorism issue to bolster his popularity,” continued O’Reilly.
“So he’s making a political tool out of a terror attack,” Colbert clarified.
“That’s what he’s doing,” O’Reilly agreed.
When asked if Clinton was doing the same, O’Reilly further explained the difference of the two approaches.
“Trump is bringing a robust ‘I’m gonna get these guys’ attitude to the table,” O’Reilly said. “Mrs. Clinton is bringing a more nuanced situation. Trump is betting that the country now wants a real avenger. Mrs. Clinton is very tied into the Obama legacy right now because she needs him to campaign.”
He continued, “It’s political advantage to Trump on this one. And he wants to be president, so he’s going to use it.”
In a recent conversation with The Hollywood Reporter, O’Reilly predicted that the upcoming conventions are going to be a “cage match” between Trump and Clinton.
“The rules of engagement are very different with a Trump-Hillary run,” he told THR. “It has nothing to do with her gender. It has to do with a suspicion on the part of many Americans that she’s not candid. Trump is running on candor. She is running a traditional, cautious [campaign]. So there is a contrast. So how he goes after her is going to be interesting to see.”
The full O’Reilly interview airs Monday night on The Late Show (11:35 p.m. ET/PT on CBS), the first night of late-night talk shows for broadcast since the attack.
The tragedy cast a large shadow over Sunday night’s Tony Awards, which saw host James Corden and many of the night’s stars calling for love over hate.
On Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver addressed Orlando at the top of his show, comparing the tragedy to the attacks at Charlie Hebdo. “Right now this just hurts,” he said.