Hidden away in an interview this morning on Good Morning America, newly-installed Trump campaign manager Kellyane Conway bizarrely admitted she didn’t know whether former embattled Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes was advising her candidate on debate prep or not.
During the hit with ABC’s George Stephanopoulos, the conversation turned to yesterday’s news of a $20 million settlement between Fox and former network anchor Gretchen Carlson, who filed a sexual harassment lawsuit against Ailes two months ago. Since his highly-publicized ouster from Fox, Ailes has reportedly been advising Donald Trump on debate prep ahead of the general election showdowns with Hillary Clinton.
“Is that appropriate in light of this settlement?” asked Stephanopoulos.
Not only did Conway refused to answer the question head-on, she wouldn’t even accept its essential premise.
“So, I’m at Trump Tower everyday, I’m the campaign manager. I’ve never seen Mr. Ailes there. I saw him once time for lunch recently, he was at lunch,” she offered.
“But he is giving Mr. Trump advice, isn’t he?” countered Stephanopoulos.
Conway simply replied, “Well Mr. Trump — I don’t know, because Mr. Trump speaks to many people on the phone during the day when I’m not there. They’ve known each other probably thirty years.”
Despite the fact that report after report indicated that Ailes — a longtime Republican debate and campaign vet — has been advising Trump, the campaign has tried to distance itself from these claims amid the growing number of harassment accusations targeting the former Fox Chairman. Hope Hicks weeks ago denied the initial New York Times story on the advising arrangement, which first reported, “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 on Long Island, according to three people briefed on the move, who insisted on anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter.”
New York Magazine‘s Gabe Sherman reported that Ailes allegedly showed up to a Trump debate session with a black eye, and Fox News stalwart Bret Baier expressed his discomfort with the Ailes-Trump arrangement. “[T]his guy was our boss,” Baier said to POLITICO. “He let news thrive on its own but now he’s doing what he’s doing.”
Watch above via GMA.
J.D. Durkin (@jiveDurkey) is an editorial producer and columnist at Mediaite.
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