What Advice Is Roger Ailes Giving Donald Trump About His Sexual Assault Comments?

After Ailes was ousted from Fox News over sexual harassment allegations, he quickly found a home with the Trump campaign.
Multiple women who had worked at Fox News stepped forward to share stories of sexual harassment by Roger Ailes.
Multiple women who had worked at Fox News stepped forward to share stories of sexual harassment by Roger Ailes.

Donald Trump found himself in his biggest campaign crisis to date Friday after audio emerged of him bragging about groping and sexually assaulting women in 2005. 

“When you’re a star they let you do it,” Trump says in the recording, which was captured on a hot mic aboard the bus of “Access Hollywood” and first published by The Washington Post. “You can do anything ... Grab them by the pussy. You can do anything.”

Trump swiftly faced denunciations from top Republicans, and his weak non-apology did nothing to stop the bleeding. 

But Trump does have someone in his corner who has gone through similar troubles and could presumably offer him some advice or bucking up. 

Former Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes has been advising Trump around the presidential debates since he was ousted as chairman of Fox News this summer. Former host Gretchen Carlson had sued Ailes for sexual harassment, leading multiple other women at the network to come forward with their own stories.

Those allegations were no problem for Trump, who swiftly brought Ailes into his orbit. Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks did not immediately return a request for comment Friday night on whether Ailes was still advising Trump and whether he offered any guidance around the current controversy.

Trump’s offensive views on women have long been known. He has criticized women for gaining weight, said they can’t be a “10” if they’re flat-chested and argued that Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy America because she “can’t satisfy her husband.” Beyond those words, multiple women who have worked with him have said that he frequently made inappropriate comments or pursued them with unwanted physical advances.

Carlson’s lawsuit against Ailes portrayed a similarly misogynistic culture at Fox News: 

None of that behavior was enough to make Trump condemn Ailes or decide he shouldn’t be someone he brings into his circle. And after Friday, it’s a bit clearer why. 

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.