Bill O’Reilly broke his silence Friday in his first interview since being fired by Fox News, saying his dismissal was “a hit” caused by the “destroying voices” of the “far left.”
“This was a hit and in the weeks to come we’re going to be able to explain some of it,” O’Reilly told “The Glenn Beck Radio Program.”
Last month, Fox News parted ways with O’Reilly after a series of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior claims leveled against him in recent years. The New York Times had reported that five women received large payments in exchange for not pursuing litigation or speaking about the accusations.
O’Reilly said Fox was pressured by left-wing activists who came in and threatened sponsors unless they stopped running commercials on the highly-rated “O’Reilly Factor.”
He said he and his legal team would soon be naming names of those they believe are behind a plot to get him fired. But he named liberal billionaire businessman George Soros as one of the chief funders against conservative opinion.
“There’s going to be an exposition soon but I can’t tell you when … I was target No. 1, it’s sad for me, it’s sad for my family … From now on, when I ‘m attacked I’m going to take action, mostly legal action,” he said.
O’Reilly said he was returning to the United States from a trip to Rome and the Vatican when he learned he had been dismissed by the Fox News Channel.
“My attorneys told me and we were all shocked … I had 20 good years at FNC. We were caught by surprise, but it’s [Fox’s] prerogative,” he told Beck.
“People know that the left-wing media hates Fox and hates me … but they don’t know the extent of it… We’re accumulating information and someday it will all be clear.”
O’Reilly also attacked the press, saying some media outlets are as “evil as it gets.” He chastized Beck for believing news reports that he had received a $25 million kiss-off from Fox.
“In American journalism right now, very few are seeking the truth. What they do … is come up with this scenario and try to reinforce that,” he said.
Asked about this week’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, O’Reilly said there were several reasons President Donald Trump had acted.
“Trump does not trust James Comey … He doesn’t like the fact that Comey is unpredictable [and] … that Comey would not aggressively investigate the leaks that have plagued the Trump administration,” O’Reilly said.
But he also criticized the White House for being too “undisciplined” in its day-to-day management.
“The Trump administration always makes mistakes by being undisciplined … The messaging is always the problem … [White House Press Secretary Sean] Spicer’s just weak,” O’Reilly said.
He said the “straight press, the journalists, the hard news reporters, they now are devoting most of their time to destroying Donald Trump.”
“They hate him, by extension anybody who gives Trump a fair play, anybody, is going to be attacked as well … There’s this monolithic and very powerful industry that’s developed to get Trump out of office,” O’Reilly said.
“On the left you get, ‘We’re going to take him out.’ … That’s what the New York Times wants to do … This dishonesty in the media is harming this country.”