Fox News’ controversial and embattled star Bill O’Reilly predicted Donald Trump’s presidency six years ago at Mar-A-Lago — with Trump in the house.
It happened at a March 2011 fund-raiser at the Palm Beach mansion and private club, as Trump was mulling a presidential run that he would not make at the time. O’Reilly was a keynote speaker at the charitable event for the It Happened To Alexa Foundation, which raises money to help rape victims pay for the cost of going to criminal court trials.
This week, O’Reilly has been the focus of a New York Times investigation that he made numerous financial settlements stemming from claims of sexual harassment and inappropriate behavior. The Times also has reported that Fox advertisers are pressuring the network to take action against O’Reilly. On Wednesday in an interview with the New York Times, President Trump said that he believed O’Reilly did nothing wrong and should not have settled the cases.
At the 2011 fundraiser, Trump introduced O’Reilly, who spent much of his remarks talking about the possibilities of a Trump presidency. “It’s gratifying to have the next president of the United States introduce me,” O’Reilly said at the time.
O’Reilly seemed to predict how many weekends Trump would spend at his so-called Winter White House, where he is meeting Thursday and Friday with the Chinese president Xi Jinping. “He’d probably run the country from right here (Mar-a-Lago),” O’Reilly said at the time.
He also made jokes about Trump’s passion for golf: “He’d probably turn the White House into a golf club. There’d be nine holes on the grounds of the White House, then another nine across the street, by the Washington Monument.”
O’Reilly’s predictions were not infallible: He also suggested that he would make a good secretary of state and that Yankees star Derek Jeter could serve as vice president.
Original reporting for this story came from a 2011 article by former Post society columnist Jose Lambiet.