Bill O’Reilly may have downplayed his friendship with Donald Trump while visiting with Ellen DeGeneres, but there’s always going to be some affection there. O’Reilly’s the only cable news host that Trump allows to mercilessly interrogate him, and he keeps coming back for more. The two grumps came together on Wednesday night in a lengthy segment that featured a shameless dissection of Trump’s thoughts on former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who he previously called “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping.” Clinton called him out for it at the debate, after which Trump told Fox and Friends that she gained “a massive amount of weight” and was a real problem.
(FYI: There’s a flashback video where Machado listens to Trump talk about her weight, and it is brutal.)
While speaking with O’Reilly, Trump acknowledged his feelings that Clinton took “a cheap shot” by bringing up Machado. He continued to take shots at her, but painted himself as a savior for making her lose weight:
“She did not do well. She had a lot of difficulty. And, you know, they wanted to fire her. The company itself wanted to fire her. I saved her job … I did that with a number of young ladies. The staff itself. Look what happened. Look what I get out of it. I get nothing. A lot of things are coming out about her.”
The Trump-as-martyr theme continued and only grew more intense:
“I saved her job because they wanted to fire her for putting on so much weight, it is a beauty contest. Say what you want, Bill. It’s a beauty contest. I said ‘Don’t do that. Let her try and lose the weight.’ You can imagine? I end up in a position like this. So that’s the way it is … I helped somebody, and this is what you get for helping somebody.”
O’Reilly then asked Trump if he needed “to do better among women” in order to become president, and Trump thought everything was fine, so no worries: “Well, I think I’m doing well, and I have been doing well with married women.”
The two men dove into several more subjects including Trump’s debate admission that he felt “smart” about not paying taxes. Trump explained how this doesn’t mean that he doesn’t pay taxes, only that not doing so “‘would make me smart’ because tax is a big payment.” And he believes his statement will earn him support because “I think lots of people say, ‘That’s the kind of thinking I want running this nation.'”
Well, these O’Reilly interviews are practically an art form at this point.