Political commentator Bill O’Reilly on Tuesday defended the working conditions for the slaves who built the White House, attempting to fact-check Michelle Obama’s speech from the night before.
“Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802,” said O’Reilly on his show Tuesday evening, according to Media Matters. “However, the feds did not forbid subcontractors from using slave labor. So, Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well.”
The first lady delivered a keynote speech at the Democratic National Convention on Monday night, where she supported Hillary Clinton and taking a jab at the Republican nominee.
“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” she said. “And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent black young women, playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”
“And because of Hillary Clinton my daughters and all our sons and daughters now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States. So don’t let anyone ever tell you that this country isn’t great, that somehow we need to make it great again, because this right now is the greatest country on earth.”
O’Reilly continued his history lesson: “In addition, free blacks, whites, and immigrants also worked on the massive building. There were no illegal immigrants at that time. If you could make it here, you could stay here.”
“I just can’t get rid of that history teacher thing. You know what I’m talking about?”