Deals, the renowned expert Donald Trump might note, happen when an arrangement is mutually beneficial for two sides. It makes a certain sense, then, that—as The New York Times reports—Roger Ailes, the recently ousted Fox News chief, is advising Donald Trump ahead of the presidential debates. The paper reports:
Mr. Ailes is aiding Mr. Trump’s team as it turns its attention to the first debate with Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee, on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University on Long Island, according to four people briefed on the move, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter. Two of them said 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.
Trump desperately needs the help, with his campaign fortunes flagging. And Ailes would surely like a chance at redemption after being suddenly and unceremoniously dropped over a raft of allegations that he sexually harassed female employees at Fox News.
Trump’s spokeswoman Hope Hicks denied the report:
Trump spox Hope Hicks denies NYT story that Roger Ailes is advising Trump: pic.twitter.com/dDG5oiVJII— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) August 16, 2016
But other reporters, including Gabriel Sherman, an expert on Ailes and Fox, have reported that Ailes has been informally advising Trump for months. That alone is worth considering: The boss of America’s most popular cable-news channel, and the most powerful single voice in conservative media, has been advising the Republican presidential candidate for months.