Donald Trump has now done the impossible: He’s got a Fox News host begging him not to spread racist paranoia that he’s picked up from right-wing talk radio.
Trump appeared Monday night on The O’Reilly Factor, where Bill O’Reilly challenged him for tweeting out fraudulent statistics that alleged white people were getting murdered in large numbers by African-Americans.
On Sunday, Trump posted a manually copied retweet of this image, apparently depicting a masked person of color pointing a gun:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2015
In fact, according to the actual statistics maintained by the FBI, the overwhelming majority of white murder victims are murdered by white offenders, and the overwhelming majority of black murder victims are murdered by black offenders.
This is itself a product of the fact that people are most likely to be murdered by someone they already know — and that different racial groups in America have largely lived separate lives.
“Bill, I did not tweet,” Trump protested. “I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert and was also a radio show [sic].”
“But, you do not want to be—” O’Reilly struggled to respond, “why do you want to be in that zone?”
The exchange occurs just shortly after the 4:00 mark in the video below — right after Trump had weaseled out of a discussion regarding Syrian refugees by declaring, “I am probably the least racist person on Earth.”
TRUMP: Hey, Bill, Bill — am I going to check every statistic? I get millions and millions of people—
O’REILLY: You’ve got to. You are a presidential contender, you’ve got to check it.
TRUMP: I have millions of people. You know what? Fine. But, this came out of radio shows and everything else.
O’REILLY: Oh, come on! Radio shows?
O’Reilly tried in vain to reason with Trump on the basis of his own rational self-interest. After all, doesn’t Trump want to be perceived as “honest”?
“Look, you know I am looking out for you, right? You know that? I am looking out for you. I look out for every honest politician. I do not care what party they are in,” O’Reilly said. “Do not do this. Do not put your name on stuff like this, because it makes the other side — It gives them stuff to tell the ill-informed voter that you are a racist. I mean, you just handed them a platter.”