Trump Defends Roger Ailes' Sexual Assault: He 'Helped' Women

Over the weekend, Trump twice defended former Fox News Chairman and CEO Roger Ailes’ alleged sexual misconduct and then said “I guess” when asked if he would vote for a Democrat over a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard for Senate.

In an interview for Showtime’s “The Circus,” which was filmed on Friday and aired Sunday night, Trump described Ailes’ incidents of sexual assault as “friendly.”

Related Story: Roger Ailes Resigns After Mounting Sexual Assault Allegations

“I think it’s so sad,” he told Bloomberg Politics’ Co-Managing Editor Mark Halperin. “He’s such a great guy. 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.”

In a separate interview with “Meet the Press,” which also aired Sunday, Trump came to Ailes’ defense once again, insisting that Ailes “helped” the women accusing him of assault.

“I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them,” he told host Chuck Todd. “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.”

When asked if Ailes was helping advise Trump’s campaign he did not provide a full answer: “Well, I don’t want to comment. But he’s been a friend of mine for a long time.”

On “The Circus” Trump also added, “But when you think about Roger Ailes, in the history of television, there’s really been almost no instances where something like this has been done before.”

However, according to Ailes’ 2014 biography “The Loudest Voice in the Room,” written by Gabriel Sherman, this is not the first allegation of sexual harassment against Ailes. The book details claims from other women, including Randi Harrison. Harrison was in her twenties and looking to be hired as a segment producer and told Ailes his salary offer was too low. “If you agree to have sex with me whenever I want I will add an extra hundred dollars a week,” Ailes reportedly said.

Sherman’s book also reveals that Ailes regularly required on-air female personalities to stop wearing pantsuits and showcase their legs. In one case, Ailes bought a glass anchor desk specifically to show the hosts’ legs.

Related Story: Fox News Chief Sought Sex, Retaliated Over Discrimination Complaints, Says Former Host

Gretchen Carlson, who has had a successful career and worked at Fox News for 11 years, filed the sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes. According to Carlson’s lawsuit, “Ailes has unlawfully retaliated against Carlson and sabotaged her career because she refused his sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.” Following Carlson’s lawsuit, at least twenty other women came forward alleging sexual misconduct on Ailes’ part as well. Ailes resigned from his position last Thursday.

Trump also talked about David Duke’s bid for the Louisiana Senate on “Meet the Press.” Duke is a former KKK grand wizard who previously expressed his support for the Trump campaign. Duke has credited Trump as being inspiration for his Senate agenda.

Related Story: Former KKK Leader David Duke Announces Candidacy for U.S. Senate

“Would you support a Democrat over David Duke if that was what was necessary to defeat him” Todd asked.

“I guess, depending on who the Democrat [is] but the answer would be yes,” Trump said.

He then added, “Look, the answer is, as quick as you can say it Rebuked. Is that okay”

In Duke’s announcement for his political bid, he praisedTrump andhis campaign. “I’m overjoyed to see Donald Trump, and most Americans, embrace most of the issues that I’ve championed for years,” he said. “My slogan remains, ‘America First.’ I’ve always said, ‘Equal rights for all, special interest for none.'”

Trump did not immediately disavow Duke when he initially announced his support for the candidate. In February, Duke said that “voting against Donald Trump at this point is really treason to your heritage.”

Related Story: Trump Fears Alienating White Supremacist Voters

When asked about the comments on CNN, Trump said, “Just so you understand, I don’t know anything about David Duke, okay I don’t know anything about what you’re even talking about with white supremacy or white supremacists. So I don’t know.”

However, Trump actually referred to Duke by name in a 2000 New York Times article.

Latest News

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey

Arizona Conservatives Attempt to Roll Back LGBTQ-Inclusive Curriculum in Schools

Republican lawmakers in Arizona have approved new laws revamping LGBTQ-inclusive education in schools, making it harder for educators to teach about historical events such as the 1969 Stonewall riots in New York City that started the gay rights movement, discussions about sexual orientation or instruction of anything related to LGBTQ…

Black Lives Matter Protest

Florida Passes Controversial ‘Anti-Protest’ Bill Designed to Weaken Black Lives Matter and Other Social Justice Movements 

In a play designed to make it harder for social justice advocates to gather and promote change, the Florida Senate has passed a controversial so-called “anti-riot” bill inspired by the recent increase in protests by groups such as Black Lives Matter. Dartunorro Clark of NBC News has reported that “the…


Disney Theme Parks Announce New Diversity and Inclusion Efforts for Workers

Following long-term COVID-19-related closures, Florida’s Walt Disney World Resort has opened back up for business and California’s Disneyland is slated to reopen on April 30th. The family-friendly company also took some time away from celebrating its big news to announce some inclusive and diversity-promoting efforts it had implemented during the…

PwC’s Leah Houde on How To Reimagine Ways to Higher Education Despite Rising Costs and Barriers to Entry

Originally published on LinkedIn. Leah Houde is PwC’s Chief Learning Officer. PwC is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   The economic and societal gap in our nation is growing. The pandemic has only exacerbated this divide, disproportionately ravaging Black, Latinx and underserved communities. Barriers to education continue to drive wedges between…