MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin on Tuesday shrugged off a Fox News host’s refusal to apologize for comments he made about Russian President Vladimir Putin, but said his remarks reflected badly on the U.S. channel.
In an interview with U.S. President Donald Trump which aired at the weekend, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly described Putin as “a killer” as he tried to press Trump to explain more fully why he respected his Russian counterpart.
The Kremlin said on Monday it wanted an apology for what it said were “unacceptable and insulting” comments, but O’Reilly dismissed the call for an apology.
“I’m working on that apology but it may take a little time,” O’Reilly said on Fox News late on Monday. “You might want to check in with me around ... 2023.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters on Tuesday the episode showed that it and O’Reilly had a different understanding of what common courtesy meant and quipped that the Kremlin would return to the matter in 2023.
“This is a very unfortunate incident for the Fox company at least in our eyes,” said Peskov, who said O’Reilly’s behavior had reflected badly on the broadcaster, a top-rated U.S. cable news network.
Peskov suggested the Kremlin would not pursue the matter further however.
“We are not inclined to exaggerate this or to blow this out of proportion,” said Peskov.
Reporting by Denis Pinchuk; Writing by Andrew Osborn; Editing by Christian Lowe