Bill O'Reilly said the slaves who helped build the White House "were well-fed and had decent lodgings provided by the government."
The Fox News commentator was responding to first lady Michelle Obama's remarks in her speech at the Democratic National Convention on Monday, when she praised social progress in the United States.
"I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves," Mrs. Obama said. "And I watch my daughters, two beautiful, intelligent, black young women playing with their dogs on the White House lawn."
O'Reilly said on his show Tuesday that "Michelle Obama is essentially correct in citing slaves as builders of the White House, but there were others working as well."
Politifact has rated Michelle Obama's comments true, saying that slaves were "significantly involved in the construction of the White House."
O'Reilly's comments drew criticism on social media.