Donald Trump defends Roger Ailes after Fox News CEO resigns
Mere days after stirring the pot with a controversial 76-minute speech at the Republican National Convention, Donald Trump continues to ruffle feathers as he publicly defends his friend, Roger Ailes, against a series of sexual harassment accusations. The former Fox News Chairman and CEO resigned from his position earlier this week amid the allegations.
In a series of pre-taped interviews for NBC’s Meet the Press and Showtime’s The Circus, Trump spoke out against Ailes’ accusers for the first time since the 76-year-old vacated his role with the network.
“I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them. And even recently,” Trump said during an interview with Chuck Todd on Meet the Press. “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.”
Several women, including former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson and Kellie Boyle, previously a field advisor for the Republican National Committee, have alleged Ailes’ misconduct across a series of incidents dating back nearly 50 years.
Carlson filed a suit against Ailes earlier in July, accusing him of unlawful retaliation and the sabotaging of her career because she “refused sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.” (Ailes denied these claims.) After leaving Fox & Friends in 2013 to front her own program, The Real Story with Gretchen Carlson, the 50-year-old officially parted ways with the conservative outlet in June.
“I think it’s so sad. He’s such a great guy,” Trump told Bloomberg on Saturday, referencing Ailes’ resignation. “Roger is — I mean, what he’s done on television, is in the history of television, he’s gotta be placed in the top three, or four or five. And that includes the founding of the major networks. So, it’s too bad. I’m sure it was friendly. I know Rupert [Murdoch]. He’s a great guy.”
Trump also hinted that Ailes might step in to help the Republican presidential nominee with his campaign. “Well, I don’t want to comment,” he added during his interview with Todd. “But, he’s been a friend of mine for a long time.”