Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly is drawing heat over a line in his “Tip of the Day” segment in Tuesday’s edition of “The O’Reilly Factor” -- that the slaves who built the White House, referencing first lady Michelle Obama’s speech Monday, “were well-fed and had decent lodging.”

A twitter firestorm broke out early Wednesday after a New York Daily News story was posted followed by a tweet that read: “Bill O’Reilly defends use of slaves to build White House, says they were well-fed.”

Wednesday morning, Shonda Rhimes -- television’s most prominent African-American writer and producer -- retweeted it saying, “The idiocy never ceases to amaze me. Try slavery, Bill. Let us know how good the food is while you wear chains.” 

By 9:03, just minutes after her tweet went out, she had 685 “likes.”

O’Reilly’s “Tip of the Day” in fact was largely not about slave conditions but rather about the history behind the construction of the White House, then called The Executive Mansion, and which itself was apparently offered to provide fuller context to Michelle Obama’s dramatic observation Monday that her children wake up in a home “built by slaves.”

Prefacing his remarks by saying “The history behind her remarks is fascinating,” O’Reilly said that while slaves did work on the new building, “free blacks and whites and immigrants also worked on the building -- there were no illegal immigrants at the time. If you could make it here you could stay here.” He said that after John and Abigail Adams “took up residence ... they were still hammering nails. Slaves that worked here were well fed and had decent lodging 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 as well.” 

On Wednesday afternoon, O’Reilly responded on Twitter: “Far left loons distort tip about @FLOTUS statement that slaves built White House. She’s correct & I provided facts. More on The Factor -BO’R”