Trump is still chatting with Bill O'Reilly, the former Fox News personality who was fired after his sexual harassment lawsuits became public.
Bill O'Reilly might be a pariah for most of the right-wing world after Fox News dumped him from their airwaves following the revelation that he silenced women who accused him of sexual assault by spending at least $45 million in hush money payments.
But not for Trump.
Trump is still chatting with O'Reilly, and apparently called O'Reilly Wednesday night to vent about special counsel Robert Mueller, who emerged Wednesday to say that his report did not exonerate Trump.
"President Trump called me last night around 11 o'clock," O'Reilly said Thursday morning on the conservative radio show "Bernie and Sid in the Morning."
O'Reilly said Trump vented that Mueller has a vendetta against him because of a dispute over membership fees at one of Trump's golf properties.
"He wouldn't give him his deposit back for a country club membership that Trump owned and Mueller was moving," O'Reilly said, according to a recording of the show published by Mediaite. "Mueller wanted $15,000 back and Trump said no."
O'Reilly also said Trump told him that Mueller is mad because Trump refused to give him the job of FBI director — a role Mueller already held for 12 years.
"Trump says Mueller didn't like him because he turned him down to be the head of the FBI after he fired Comey. The president says that Mueller lobbied for the job and Trump turned him down," O'Reilly said.
Of course, Trump's story on Mueller is all a lie.
In fact, it's addressed in Mueller's report in the section about obstruction of justice — as Trump tried to use this rationale to have Mueller removed, but was rebuffed by his aides.
According to a footnote in the report, former Trump senior adviser Steve Bannon called Trump's story about Mueller's conflicts "ridiculous":
"Bannon recalled telling the President that the purported conflicts were 'ridiculous' and that none of them was real or could come close to justifying precluding Mueller from serving as Special Counsel. As for Mueller's interview for FBI Director, Bannon recalled that the White House had invited Mueller to speak to the President to offer a perspective on the institution of the FBI. Bannon said that, although the White House thought about beseeching Mueller to become Director again, he did not come in looking for the job. Bannon also told the President that the law firm position did not amount to a conflict in the legal community. And Bannon told the President that the golf course dispute did not rise to the level of a conflict and claiming one was 'ridiculous and petty.' The President did not respond when Bannon pushed back on the stated conflicts of interest."
Aside from the fact that Trump is lying about Mueller once again, it's notable that he's still chatting with O'Reilly — who is desperately trying to remain relevant with a sad internet show he runs from his house now that he's lost his Fox news soapbox.
But it would make sense that Trump would seek out someone like O'Reilly, with whom he shares a kinship, as both men have been accused by multiple women of sexual harassment, have smeared said women who accused them, and are experienced in making large hush money payment to make women go away.
Trump has also defended O'Reilly in the past, saying that he didn't believe O'Reilly "did anything wrong." Of course, people don't usually spend $45 million to silence accusers.
As the old saying goes, birds of a feather really do flock together.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.