Two months ago former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly revealed the existence of a tape that he claims shows what he described as “an anti-Trump attorney” offering a woman $200,000 during the presidential election last year to issue false sexual harassment claims against then-GOP nominee Donald Trump.
“It exists,” he said to Newsmax at the time. “We have urged the person who has the tape to hand it over to the U.S. attorney, because my investigative team believes there are three separate crimes on the audio tape.”
On Friday, O’Reilly doubled down on that claim during an interview with conservative talk show host Glenn Beck, though he declined to offer a deadline for when the tape might finally be released.
“There is an audiotape of an anti-Trump person offering $200,000 to a woman to accuse Donald Trump of untoward behavior,” he said.
When Beck asked whether this tape will ever be released, O’Reilly replied by maintaining that he “may have to go to the U.S. attorney” himself.
“I don’t want to have to do that and inject myself into the story … but I had my lawyer listen to the tape,” O’Reilly said. “There are at least three crimes on the tape. So as a citizen, I may have to do this.”
He cautioned, though, that the tape isn’t in his possession but rather with “someone who knows the seriousness of this situation.”
Then, Beck asked, why won’t this mysterious someone simply release the tape to the public?
“I can’t really get into that at this point, but I can tell you, Donald Trump knows about the tape,” O’Reilly said. “And I, for the life of me, am sitting here going, ‘Why on Earth are you allowing a movement to try to smear you when you have such a powerful piece of evidence that shows this is an industry — that there are false charges and money changing hands?’”
But Trump doesn’t “have such a powerful piece of evidence” at his disposal; the actual owner of the tape does, and until he or she chooses to release the tape, there might not be much the president can do about it.
Listen to O’Reilly’s full statement to Beck below:
Keep in mind that the former Fox News host first mentioned this tape two months earlier, and yet it still remains unpublished.