Thursday on Fox News Channel’s “The O’Reilly Factor,” host Bill O’Reilly weighed in on the allegations that Attorney General Jeff Sessions failed to acknowledge meeting with the Russian ambassador during his confirmation hearing earlier this year.
O’Reilly declared Sessions was right to recuse himself from any investigations involving the 2016 Trump presidential campaign. However, he said this situation exposed hypocrisy of Democrats, who were silent on then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch’s recusal when then-Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was being investigated for her use of an unauthorized server while secretary of state.
Transcript as follows:
O’REILLY: Hi, I am Bill O’Reilly. Thanks for watching us tonight. Attorney General Jeff Sessions recuses himself in the Russian investigation. That is a subject of this evening’s “Talking Points” memo. Okay. Here’s the deal. The Democratic Party in much of the national press wants to produce evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government in defeating Hillary Clinton. There is no question about that. The cost of the Russian hacking, a serious issue, there were hearings held in Congress. And by extension, when then Senator Jeff Sessions testified at his confirmation hearing for Attorney General, the Russian issue came up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. AL FRANKEN (D), MINNESOTA: If there is any evidence that anyone affiliated with the Trump campaign communicated with the Russian government in the course of this campaign, what will you do?
JEFF SESSIONS (R), THEN-ALABAMA SENATOR: Senator Franken, I am not aware of any of those activities. I have been called a surrogate at a time or two in that campaign and I did not have communications with the Russians. And I am unable to comment on it.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’REILLY: Now, last night, “The Washington Post” publish a story that said, then-Senator Sessions did meet with the Russian ambassador twice last year. But if you are listening closely, the question was about the Trump campaign, not the former senators duties on the Armed Services Committee. Today in a press conference, the Attorney General reiterated that he was answering the Russian question in the context of the Trump campaign. He said he did nothing wrong, told the truth, but is recusing himself from the case.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SESSIONS: My staff recommended recusal. They said that since I had involvement with the campaign, I should not be involved in any campaign investigation. I have studied the rules and considered their comments and evaluations. I believe those recommendations are right and just. Therefore, I have recused myself in the matters that deal with the Trump campaign.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
O’REILLY: “Talking Points” believes Mr. Sessions did the right thing. The FBI is currently investigating whether Russians influence the presidential vote and he was involved. The investigation has to be above reproach. And that is why the Attorney General is now out of it. One footnote. Not one single Democrat in Congress, not one, called for then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch to recuse herself from the Hillary Clinton investigation after she met with Bill Clinton at a Phoenix Airport.
There was absolutely no call for recusal by the Democrats, so once again, hypocrisy is on full display. Now, here is what should happen going forward. The FBI should continue with its investigation and Director Comey should testify in front of Congress. If during that testimony there is evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russians in any way, then, a special prosecutor should be appointed. That is what should happen.
A methodical investigation by the FBI and a determination by Congress whether a special independent probe is necessary. I think that is a fair, honest, and efficient game plan in this intense political climate. Finally, even though the press does want to destroy President Trump, the American people should want to know, we should want to know if there were any secret dealings with the Russians during the campaign. That is a very important story that should be defined. And that is the memo.
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