Disgraced Former Fox News CEO Joins Trump Campaign

There’s no place like home.

AP Photo/Reed Saxon
AP Photo/Reed Saxon

After his employees leveled numerous allegations of sexual harassment against him, Roger Ailes was too toxic for Fox News. He was ousted from his position as CEO of the network he founded.

Ailes has quickly found a home, however, with the Trump campaign.

The New York Times reports that Ailes is “advising Donald J. Trump as he begins to prepare for the all-important presidential debates this fall.” His role “could extend beyond the debates” too.

Ailes was previously a political adviser to President Richard Nixon.

Trump has vigorously defended Ailes and attacked the women who are accusing him of sexual assault. He was first asked about the allegations by Chuck Todd on Meet The Press last month:

[H]e’s been a friend of mine for a long time, and I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them. And even recently, and when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him.

And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him. It’s very sad. Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person. And by the way, a very, very talented person. Look what he’s done. So I feel very badly.

Trump declined to say at the time whether Ailes would be advising his campaign.

What started with a lawsuit by former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson has unleashed a flood of allegations against Ailes. At least 20 women have stepped forward, including current Fox News star (and Trump nemesis) Megyn Kelly and former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros, who alleges she was blacklisted from the network after reporting Ailes’ conduct.

Particularly harrowing was the story of Laurie Luhn, a former Fox News booker who alleges she was sexually harassed by Ailes for two decades. Luhn described the ordeal as “psychological torture.” Ailes attempted to purchase Luhn’s silence with a $3.15 million settlement.

Former Fox News Booker Says She Was Sexually Harassed and ‘Psychologically Tortured’ by Roger Ailes…The morning after Fox News chief Roger Ailes resigned, the cable network’s former director of booking placed a call to…nymag.comNone of this, apparently, has dissuaded Trump from bringing Ailes onto his campaign.

Employees at companies owned by Trump have sued, alleging they were fired after complaining about sexual harassment at work. Asked this year what he would do if his daughter, Ivanka, was sexually harassed at work, Trump said he would advise her to “find another career or find another company.”

In May, the New York Times wrote about Trump’s history of sometimes inappropriate conduct with women who worked for him.

Crossing the Line: How Donald Trump Behaved With Women in Private“The architect and I didn’t know where he was coming from,” Ms. Res said. Years later, after she had gained a…www.nytimes.comOne woman, Jill Harth, alleged Trump groped her under a table. Trump denied all of the allegations but Harth is standing by her account.

Ailes involvement in the Trump campaign is not likely to improve his standing with women, which is already abysmal. Just 34% of women nationally support Trump, according to a recent ABC News poll. If that number holds on election day, it would be an all-time low.

UPDATE:

The Trump campaign, while confirming Ailes and Trump have been speaking, denies the report:

A spokeswoman for Mr. Trump, Hope Hicks, denied that Mr. Ailes was advising him in any capacity. Noting in an email that “Mr. Ailes and Mr. Trump have been friends for many years,” she said their relationship was being mischaracterized.

“They speak occasionally, which isn’t news,” she said.