Trump defends Fox News host O'Reilly as 'good person'

FILE PHOTO - Fox News Channel host Bill O'Reilly poses on the set of his show "The O'Reilly Factor" in New York March 17, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid/File Photo

(Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday defended TV anchor Bill O'Reilly after a report that the conservative commentator and his employer, 21st Century Fox, paid five women to settle claims he sexually harassed them.

"I think he’s a person I know well — he is a good person,” Trump said of O'Reilly in an interview with The New York Times.

The Times reported over the weekend that Fox and O’Reilly paid $13 million to five women who accused him of sexual harassment. O'Reilly, in a statement posted on his website on Saturday, said he had been unfairly targeted because of his prominence.

"I think he shouldn’t have settled; personally I think he shouldn’t have settled," Trump told the Times on Wednesday. “Because you should have taken it all the way. I don’t think Bill did anything wrong.”

Fox News is a unit of 21st Century Fox.

Several companies have pulled ads from O'Reilly's Fox News show "The O'Reilly Factor."

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by James Dalgleish)