Did President Trump's support lead to Bill O'Reilly's FOX News exit?


On Wednesday FOX News pulled the plug on Bill O'Reilly's popular prime-time show just two weeks after President Trump defended the longtime TV anchor amid resurfaced sexual harassment allegations. Could the president's defense played a role in ultimately getting O'Reilly canned?

According to MSNBC anchor Stephanie Ruhle it just might have. During a BUILD panel Wednesday discussing Trump's first 100 days in office, Ruhle suggested that the president's public support of O'Reilly may have "put more gasoline on this fire."

"The fact that we saw FOX take action after the president of the United States backed him -- I think that's extraordinary," Ruhle added.

Reactions to Bill O'Reilly's FOX News exit:

Trump, who has also been accused of sexual abuse, defended O'Reilly in the New York Times after the paper reported that FOX and O'Reilly paid $13 million to five women who accused him of sexual harassment.

"I think he shouldn't have settled; personally I think he shouldn't have settled," Trump told the Times. "Because you should have taken it all the way. I don't think Bill did anything wrong."

Fellow MSNBC anchor Ari Melber backed Ruhle saying, "We're going through a period of time where there is a public reckoning and reinterpretation of what is allowable, what is appropriate" -- citing that both former President Bill Clinton and President Trump have pasts that are similar to O'Reilly.

"President Trump's brand is that 1980s tough guy, run and gun, style," said Ruhle. "He was well meaning in saying 'I'm gonna support my friend.'"

"But the implications of that -- we're living in such a different time."