Bill O'Reilly likens Trump cases to Salem Witch Trials: 'Driven by fanatics'
"So, I selected this topic, number one, to educate people about the origins of their country," he continued.
Conservative media personality and author Bill O'Reilly on Tuesday likened the ongoing legal cases against former President Donald Trump to the Salem Witch Trials.
The former president faces four criminal indictments as well as an ongoing civil fraud trial. Special counsel Jack Smith has brought two indictments, one related to Trump's alleged mishandling of classified documents and another related to his election challenges. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis has brought another case related to his election challenges while Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg has brought a case over a 2016 payment to Stormy Daniels.
Trump appeared in a New York court Tuesday to face state Attorney General Letitia James's prosecution. He has deemed all of the cases part of a broader political "witch hunt" designed to derail his 2024 White House bid.
"Trump uses the term witch hunt every day," O'Reilly said on the "Just the News, No Noise" television show. "And I talked to one of his guys, I said, Can he hold up the book when he says witch hunt? Whenever he's going 'witch hunt, witch hunt' ... hold up 'Killing the Witches.'"
O'Reilly is the author of "Killing the Witches: The Horror of Salem, Massachusetts."
He further insisted that current events had motivated him to write the book, in particular, the deterioration of the legal process and seemingly fading rights of the accused party amid the cancel culture phenomenon.
"[T]hat's why I wrote the book, by the way. [It's] the same thing that happened in Salem. No due process hysteria, driven by fanatics, is happening now and cancel culture is a witch hunt," he said. "The same things are in play. You're not getting executed, but your life can be destroyed in a heartbeat, just by an accusation."
"And Americans don't understand how pernicious this Salem thing- [t]his is driven by 12 year old girls," he continued. "[Y]ou imagine you're tilling the field in 1692 and all of a sudden a constable comes up, arrests you to take you to jail. The next day, you're in a courtroom. Five girls are going 'oh, so and so came to me in the night told me to sign the Devil's book' and there are adults going 'Yeah, yeah, yeah.'"
That's "exactly what happened. Twenty human beings executed in Salem, no due process, no evidence, no anything," he added. "And it was just absolutely hysterical. There were good people in Salem. But if you said this is wrong, then the next day you got accused of being a witch. More than 200 people were in jail awaiting trial, when William Phillips, the governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony ended it. And you know why Phipps ended it? Because they accused his wife of being a witch: Mary Phipps. That was how insane it is."
"So, I selected this topic, number one, to educate people about the origins of their country," he continued. "I put you on the Mayflower; and you guys would not want to have been on the Mayflower. Sixty-six days from Plymouth, England, to Massachusetts. It was horrendous."
"I mean, it's like everybody goes, 'Oh, Pilgrims Thanksgiving, pass the stuffing.' No, this was bad. And then we carry on what happened in Salem, it influenced the Constitution of the United States, the founding fathers," he concluded. "But now, in 2023, we're right back there with the cancel culture. Accusations can ruin your life."
Ben Whedon is an editor and reporter for Just the News. Follow him on X, formerly Twitter.