One of the most poignant moments in Monday night’s speech by first lady Michelle Obama was when she mentioned that her family lives in a White House that was built by slaves.
Fox News host Bill O’Reilly called it a “positive comment,” but had to add a clarification: The White House wasn’t built entirely by slaves.
“In addition, free blacks, whites and immigrants also worked on the massive building,” he said on “The O’Reilly Factor” on Tuesday night. “There were no illegal immigrants at that time. If you could make it here, you could stay here.”
In a clip posted online by Media Matters, O’Reilly also noted that the slaves involved in the construction of the White House got room and board in the deal:
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.
Check it out in the clip above.