Donald Trump's presidential campaign on Tuesday denied reports that embattled former Fox News chief executive Roger Ailes — who was ousted amid sexual harassment allegations — is advising the Republican nominee, which Ailes also contested through a representative.
“They are longtime friends, but he has no formal or informal role in the campaign,” Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said in a statement to The Washington Post.
Ailes's attorney, Susan Estrich, also denied the reports. "I checked with Roger, and it is not so," Estrich told The Post.
The New York Times reported Tuesday that Ailes has begun assisting the Trump campaign ahead of the presidential debates, which begin next month. The debates loom large over the election and could present the Republican presidential nominee with an opportunity to reverse a tide of unwelcome poll numbers showing him lagging behind Clinton.
Hicks said Ailes is not helping with debate preparation and is not advising Trump on other issues related to the campaign. She did not respond to a question about how frequently the two men speak and whether they discuss the campaign.
Ailes was forced out of Fox News after a sexual harassment lawsuit, filed by former network anchor Gretchen Carlson, spurred a steady stream of allegations from other women at the company. Ailes denied the allegations.
The former Fox News executive has a long history in Republican politics dating back decades, advising former presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.