“Personally, I think he shouldn’t have settled,” Mr. Trump told Times reporters in a wide-ranging interview. “Because you should have taken it all the way; I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”
“I think he’s a person I know well,” Mr. Trump said. “He is a good person.”
.. But the president has a particular rapport with Mr. O’Reilly, whose hectoring braggadocio and no-apologies nostalgia for a bygone American era mirror Mr. Trump’s own.
.. Mr. Trump called it “locker room talk” and apologized for the remarks. Mr. O’Reilly, on air that evening, allowed that the tape was “an embarrassment” for the Republican nominee. But he also criticized The Washington Post, the newspaper that published the footage.
.. But Mr. Trump’s advice to his friend on Wednesday — that Mr. O’Reilly “shouldn’t have settled” — was consistent with the never-back-down ethos of a president, and former real estate magnate, who relishes the counterattack.
.. Fox News’s prime time and morning hosts are blatant champions of the administration — to the extent that NBC News’s chairman, Andrew Lack, recently compared the network to “state broadcasting.”
.. Mr. Murdoch’s former wife, Wendi Deng, is so close with Ivanka Trump that the president’s daughter became a trustee of the Murdoch children’s fortune.
.. Mr. Murdoch, meanwhile, had mentored Ms. Trump’s future husband, Jared Kushner, in the art of media moguldom after his purchase of The New York Observer in 2006.
.. Mr. Trump’s kind words for Mr. O’Reilly on Wednesday seemed a reciprocal gesture of sorts, from a leader who values loyalty.