Roger Ailes Advising Donald Trump’s Campaign on Debates (Report)

Roger Ailes
AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Roger Ailes, who resigned as chairman of Fox News last month amid sexual harassment allegations, is advising Donald Trump’s presidential campaign as it prepares for the presidential debates, the first of which is Sept. 26, the New York Times reported on Tuesday.

There had been speculation that Ailes could take some sort of advisory role with Trump’s campaign after he stepped down from his post, and Trump himself praised Ailes and talked about the rumors in an appearance on “Meet the Press” the Sunday after he accepted the Republican nomination.

According to the Times, Ailes is helping on debate preparation but his involvement could extend to other areas of the campaign. A spokeswoman for Trump’s campaign told Variety that the reports were “not accurate,” saying that Ailes and Trump were longtime friends, but Ailes is not advising Trump or aiding in debate preparations and has “no formal or informal role in the campaign.”

Ailes resigned his post on July 21, the final day of the Republican convention in Cleveland, as Fox conducted an internal investigation of accusations of sexual harassment against him. Former Fox personality Gretchen Carlson filed a lawsuit against Ailes alleging sexual harassment.

Ailes was a political strategist before he founded Fox News in 1996. He advised Richard Nixon during his 1968 campaign and served as a debate coach for both Ronald Reagan in 1984 and George H.W. Bush in 1988.