Bill O’Reilly has lost more than 20 commercial sponsors after news of multiple harassment accusations against him broke over the weekend, but he has retained the loyal support of Donald Trump.
Speaking to reporters Wednesday during an Oval office sit-down, the president defended the conservative news personality after a New York Times article published April 1 claimed O’Reilly and Fox News had paid a total of $13 million to stop five women from publicizing allegations that the O’Reilly Factor host had sexually harassed or acted inappropriately with them.
“I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump said of O’Reilly as several of his high-ranking aides — namely Vice President Mike Pence, economic adviser Gary Cohn, and Chief of Staff Reince Priebus — sat around him. “I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled. Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
Amid the fallout from the NYT investigation, 21 advertisers have reportedly withdrawn ads from O’Reilly’s program.
The president himself has been accused of sexual assault by a former PEOPLE reporter, a former contestant on The Apprentice, and four other women. Trump denied the claims. Trump also made headlines leading up to his election after a 2005 recording of a conversation between him and Access Hollywood‘s Billy Bush surfaced, in which the former made predatory and vulgar comments about women.