Bill O'Reilly to Donald Trump: 'Don't Tweet'

Republican front-runner Donald Trump is in hot water after retweeting false, racially charged crime statistics earlier this week. Bill O'Reilly's advice? "Don't tweet." Fox News/YouTube

Bill O'Reilly thinks Donald Trump should maybe cool it a bit with the racial rhetoric.

"Are you aware that the liberal media and the Democratic Party in general are trying to paint you as a racist? Are you aware of that?" O'Reilly asked Trump on Monday night's Factor.

"I think so," Trump responded, "but I think people know better than that. I'm probably the least racist person on earth."

O'Reilly conceded this point. "I've known you a long time. I never saw any racism from you," O'Reilly said. "However..."

However. Was O'Reilly about to imply that Trump has not behaved in a manner befitting "the least racist person on earth?" He was.

"However, when you tweet out a thing—and this bothered me, I gotta tell you. You tweeted out that whites [are] killed by blacks—these are statistics you picked up from somewhere—at a rate of 81 percent, and that's totally wrong. Whites killed by blacks is 15 percent, yet you tweeted it was 81 percent."

Fair point: O'Reilly's 15 percent figure came from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, a real law enforcement agency with the word bureau in its title. Trump's came from the "Crime Statistics Bureau—San Francisco," which is not a real bureau because it doesn't exist. (The graphic's author may have been referring to the San Francisco Police Department's CompStat unit, which collects data on murder rates, but we'll probably never know because the user appears to have deleted his Twitter account. And, at any rate, SFPD CompStat never published crime statistics that showed blacks murdered whites at a rate of 81 percent.)

Trump's other statistics were also wrong, though by less shocking margins. At any rate, Trump said he wasn't to blame: "Bill, I didn't tweet. I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert, and it was also a radio show," he said.

Trump retweeted the graphic from the Twitter user @SeanSean252, whose Twitter bio doesn't list him as an expert in anything in particular, though it does note, "If you are not Conservative? Please don't follow me as I will not Follow you back ever!" However, @SeanSean252 did tag a conservative radio show host in his tweet, which may be how Trump got confused. Though, with the volume at which Trump tweets—he's tweeted nearly 30,000 times—you would expect him to understand how tagging other users in tweets works. Alas.

Still, O'Reilly wasn't about to let Trump off the hook. "Yeah, but why do you want to be in that zone?" he asked. "Bill, am I gonna check every statistic?" Trump riposted. But O'Reilly was ready: "You gotta. You're a presidential contender. You gotta check it."

"You know what? Fine," Trump replied. "But this came out of radio shows and everything else."

At which point O'Reilly came to his point: "Wouldn't it be better... Look, you know I'm looking out for you, right? You know that? I look out for every honest politician. I don't care what party they're in. Don't do this. Don't put your name on stuff like this 'cause it makes the other side... It gives them stuff to tell the ill-informed voter that you're a racist. You're just handing them the platter."

"This was a retweet," Trump reiterated.

"You shouldn't be tweeting," O'Reilly concluded. "Don't tweet. Give it up for Lent."

But, Trump responded, "I like it. I like it because I can get my point of view out there, and my point of view is very important to a lot of people." This, at least, is true: According to Real Clear Politics, Trump currently leads in his party's nominating process by a comfortable margin.