"I don't think Bill did anything wrong", the president said.
In the wake of a New York Times report revealing $13 million in settlements for sexual harassment cases against Fox News anchor Bill O'Reilly and President Donald Trump's vocal defense of the pundit, Rep. Maxine Waters, D- Calif., called for both men's imprisonment Wednesday night. He and several Fox News executives are presently under FBI investigation for using corporate funds as hush payments for the company's sexual harassment victims.
Gretchen Carlson said Thursday that thousands of women have shared their stories with her since her lawsuit became public last summer.
The reporter said some of O'Reilly's co-workers are upset that the host "has been allowed to continue nearly un-rebuked" by the network despite having been accused of sexual harassment and other inappropriate behavior by five different women.
While dozens of brands have said they're pulling ads from Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor" because of harassment allegations against its host, others remain to court the biggest audience on cable television news.
Fox News didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. "Bill O'Reilly will stay on the air as long as he is making money". O'Reilly has also edged the surging Maddow in the key 25-54 demographic that advertisers covet most two of three days this week.
In this combination photo, Rep. Maxine Waters, D-Calif., left, appears at the Justice on Trial Film Festival on October 20, 2013, in Los Angeles and Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly appears on the set of his show, "The O'Reilly Factor", on October 1, 2015 in NY.
One sign in O'Reilly's favour: The Wall Street Journal reported that Fox renewed his contract, which was due to expire at the end of the year, while fully aware of the accusations, which stretch back more than a decade.
O'Reilly has denied any wrongdoing and has not addressed the controversy on his program this week.
The women who filed allegations of harassment and abuse against the cable host were some of those who previously worked for him and a few who had appeared on the show. Like Mackris, Diamond had recorded her phone conversations with O'Reilly, which her lawyers presented to the company along with a list of complaints against him.
"They went through the scenario of the tape, why it was harassment and why it's something you should report", the employee said, according to the report. "They need to go to jail".