Fox television host Bill O'Reilly interviewed President Donald Trump for the first time in more than three months. In video released just before the Super Bowl, Trump was asked about his assertions that as many as 5 million illegal ballots were cast during the recent general election.
 
Trump responded, “It doesn’t have to do with the vote.”
 
“It has to do with the registration,” he continued. “And when you look at the registration, and you see dead people that have voted, when you see people that are registered in two states — and that voted in two states — when you see other things, when you see illegals, people that are not citizens and they are on the registration rolls. Look, Bill, we can be babies, but you take a look at the registration. You have illegals, you have dead people, you have this — it’s really a bad situation. It’s really bad.”
 
O’Reilly pushed on, saying, “But the data has to show that 3 million illegals voted” for Trump to be correct in his assertions. “Forget that,” Trump said. “Forget all that. Just take a look at the registration, and we’re going to do it. And I’m going to set up a commission to be headed by Vice President Mike Pence, and we’re going to look at it very carefully.”
 
A report Pew Research Center study released in 2012 concluded that “approximately 24 million registration records, or nearly 13 percent of the national total, are estimated to be inaccurate or no longer valid.” Trump’s supporters have cited the study in the past as evidence of irregularities in the balloting process.
Various media have claimed that while people who move from one state to another may be registered multiple times because of faulty records that there is no evidence that voting twice is a widespread phenomenon. 
 
O’Reilly also asked, “Is there any validity to the criticism of you that you say things you cannot back up factually” specifically regarding voter fraud. “Some people are going to say that’s irresponsible of the President to say that,” said O’Reilly. Some people? Why don’t you say that’s irresponsible, Bill?
 
But the quote that received mass publicity was released by Fox in advance of the February 5 broadcast. When Trump was asked about his perspective on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, he said, “He’s a killer, though—Putin’s a killer.” “Lotta killers. We got a lotta killers. What, you think our country’s so innocent?” During the broadcast released today, O’’Reilly was seen to respond, “I don’t know of any government leaders who are killers in America.” Trump answered, “Take a look at what we’ve done—made a lotta mistakes.”O’Reilly replied, “Alright, let’s talk about Mexico.”

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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