Ex-Fox News chair Roger Ailes advising Trump ahead of fall debates, New York Times reports

Ailes — ousted from Fox amid sexual harassment allegations — is helping Trump prep for his showdown with Clinton

Published August 16, 2016 6:11PM (EDT)

Roger Ailes, Donald Trump   (Reuters/Fred Prouser/AP/Gene J. Puskar/Photo montage by Salon)
Roger Ailes, Donald Trump (Reuters/Fred Prouser/AP/Gene J. Puskar/Photo montage by Salon)

Ex-Fox News chairman Roger Ailes — who resigned from his post last month amid sexual harassment allegations — will now be advising GOP nominee Donald Trump ahead of the presidential debates, according to The New York Times.

Ailes was brought on board specifically to prepare Trump for the first scheduled debate against Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton at Hofstra University on Sept. 26. However, two anonymous sources told the Times, "that Mr. Ailes’s role could extend beyond the debates, which Mr. Trump’s advisers see as crucial to vaulting him back into strong contention for the presidency after a series of self-inflicted wounds that have eroded his standing in public opinion polls."

Pre-Fox News, Ailes has a strong résumé of advising successful Republican presidential candidates — Richard Nixon (in 1968), Ronald Reagan (in 1984), and George H.W. Bush (in 1988).

The Trump campaign, however, is distancing itself from Ailes, who received $40 million in a separation agreement with the media company he founded with Rupert Murdoch in 1996.

"They speak occasionally, which isn’t news," Trump's spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the Times.

Shortly after the story broke, Trump's camp wholly denied the claims.

"This is not accurate," Hicks said in a follow-up statement. "He is not advising Mr. Trump or helping with debate prep. They are longtime friends, but he has no formal or informal role in the campaign."

Read the full story at The New York Times.

By Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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Debates Donald Trump Elections 2016 Fox News Hillary Clinton Roger Ailes