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Bill O’Reilly agreed with Michelle on ‘house built by slaves.’ But his kicker has people furious

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Bill O’Reilly’s controversial reaction to Michelle Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention sparked outrage and criticism.

“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves,” the first lady said in her speech on Monday, praising social progress in the U.S. “And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn.”

O’Reilly noted that “Michelle Obama is essentially correct” on his Fox News show “The O’Reilly Factor” on Tuesday.

“Michelle Obama referenced slaves building the White House in referring to the evolution of America in a positive way. It was a positive comment,” O’Reilly said.

But his remark that “slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government” earned the Fox host some serious backlash.

“Slaves did participate in the construction of the White House. Records show about 400 payments made to slave masters between 1795 and 1801. 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,” O’Reilly said.

“Slaves that worked there were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government, which stopped hiring slave labor in 1802. 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,” he concluded.

O’Reilly was slammed by social media users, with the Washington Post calling his response “immoral.”

But some Twitter users defended O’Reilly and said critics missed his point. The Fox News host, who did say the first lady’s comments were positive, came to his own defense on Twitter.

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Frieda Powers

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