A spokesperson for Donald Trump’s campaign on Tuesday denied media reports that ousted Fox News boss Roger Ailes will be helping the Republican candidate and his preparations for the upcoming debate.
“This is not accurate. 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,” Trump campaign spokesperson Hope Hicks said in a statement.
On Tuesday, the New York Times was among several outlets to report that Ailes would be advising the candidate as he prepares for his first debate with Democratic rival Hillary Clinton on September 26. The Times cited four unnamed people briefed on the matter.
Last week, Trump said he has only spoken with Ailes “on occasion” since the former Fox News chief’s departure from the network due to sexual harassment allegations and shot down rumors that Ailes would help his campaign, saying, “No, he’s not.”
Netflix host Chelsea Handler recently joked to TheWrap that she wanted Ailes to join the Trump campaign.
“This is the only campaign in politics where they would take someone coming off of a sexual harassment lawsuit who had to step down and hire them for a campaign. Like, that’s the strategy. Let’s get somebody who just had to step down from a 20-year job,” Handler said.
Before starting Fox News, Ailes was involved in campaigns for Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush, among others. He moved from advising political campaigns to building television networks until everything fell apart last month.
“He’s a man who has done an amazing job building Fox, an amazing job, but I think he’s given credit for that.” Trump said.