Bill O’Reilly Previews His Super Bowl Sunday Sit-Down With President Trump
Before the football players take the field for the big game, get ready for a marquee interview. The O’Reilly Factor host Bill O’Reilly will interview President Donald Trump during the pregame coverage of Super Bowl LI (Sunday, Feb. 5, 4/3c, Fox); portions of the interview will also air on The O’Reilly Factor the following night (8/7c, Fox News Channel).
“The interview will have two main concerns,” O’Reilly previews. “No. 1: the unbelievable circumstance that a nonpolitician who has no experience governing is sitting in the Oval Office, and how he’s personally affected by that.” The second item on O’Reilly’s agenda is discussing the big issues. “We expect in the first two weeks of his administration there will be executive orders that a lot of people won’t like. I think people will be interested in [President Trump’s] adjustment to his new world and what he does immediately.”
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“The emphasis will be on the here and now,” O’Reilly adds, “and not looking back. I won’t go into the tweeting and the ‘coulda, shouldas.’ It will be up-to-the-second relevant.”
O’Reilly, who has known Trump for 30 years, describes him as a man who “was always brash, always outspoken, with an unbelievable amount of energy. He hasn’t changed. People get wiser when they get older, so that’s a factor, but he’s pretty much the same Queens guy he’s always been.” As for Trump’s selection of a very conservative cabinet, O’Reilly sees his picks as strategic more than ideological. “He wanted the Republican Party to rally around him to get things passed, and the easiest way to do that is to make appointments that they approve of.”
Despite their friendship and his on-air support during the campaign, O’Reilly says he won’t pull any punches in the sit-down, as he didn’t in his sometimes contentious interviews with former President Obama, whom he interviewed pre–Super Bowl in 2011 and 2014. “There’s never been a time when I deviated from asking the toughest questions I can come up with. I do expect some push-back, and I respect that,” O’Reilly says. “My attitude will be, ‘If you think that I’m out of line, come back at me. That’s what we’re here for. We want to hear your point of view.’”
And yes, O’Reilly will ask the president who he thinks will win the game. Since Trump once owned a football team (the long-defunct New Jersey Generals), he’ll probably have something to say about that.