Prior to the kickoff of Super Bowl LI, Bill O’Reilly asked President Donald Trump about the rollout of the travel ban stipulated in his executive order.
“I think it was very smooth: You had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers, and all we did was vet those people very very carefully,” Trump said in the exclusive interview.
The ban was later blocked by a federal judge in Washington state, pending further action from the federal government and plaintiffs on Monday.
Trump denied that his top advisors did not know the stipulations of the executive order, which led to several protests at major airports.
“That’s not what [Homeland Security Secretary] Gen. Kelly said. He was aware of it and it was very smooth,” Trump responded,
O’Reilly also discussed Trump’s plans for dealing with Russian President Vladimir Putin, asking Trump whether he “respects” the former KGB agent.
“I do respect him, but I respect a lot of people,” Trump said, adding “that doesn’t mean I’m going to get along with him.”
Trump said he would appreciate any assistance from Russia in the fight against ISIS, but would rather get along with the former Cold War-era foe.
“But, [Putin] is a killer,” O’Reilly said.
“There are a lot of killers. … What, you think our country’s so innocent?” Trump responded.
“We’ve made a lot of mistakes,” he said, noting his opposition to the war in Iraq.
O’Reilly also pressed Trump on whether it is irresponsible for him to make public claims about voter fraud, without citing facts to back them up.
He pointed to Trump’s claim that 3 million illegal aliens allegedly voted in the presidential election, suggesting that large number helped Hillary Clinton capture the popular vote.
Trump noted many people agree with his contention that, in states like California, illegal immigrant votes helped Clinton’s tally.
“When you see… people who are not citizens and they are the registration rolls… it’s a really bad situation,” Trump said.
Trump added that he will appoint Vice President Mike Pence to lead a commission that will investigate instances of voter fraud.
Watch the full interview above, in which Trump also discussed dealing with the president of Mexico and Mexican drug cartels, whether the United States is on a “collision course” with Iran, and whether Americans can expect any major tax cuts this year.