Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump only has good things to say about Roger Ailes, the chief executive of Fox News accused of sexual harassment.
“I think it’s so sad. He’s such a great guy,” Trump said of Ailes in a Friday interview with Bloomberg Politics. “In the history of television, he has gotta be placed in the top three, or four, or five, and that includes the founding of the major networks,” he added.
At least two dozen women have accused Ailes of sexual harassment, prompting the 76-year-old media mogul to step down as chairman and CEO of Fox News on July 21. The accusations came flooding in after Gretchen Carlson, a longtime Fox News anchor, launched a lawsuit against Ailes in early July.
Carlson accused Ailes of explicitly asking her for a sexual relationship during a meeting in his office, while other Fox employees have come forward with accusations of inappropriate touching and flirting.
“If you sleep with me, you could be a model or a newscaster,” Ailes told a 20-year-old intern, according to the Washington Post. When the intern quit after only a few weeks, he allegedly told her he was “disappointed” and then “grabbed” her inappropriately.
Trump continues to praise Ailes in light of these allegations. “I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them,” he explained in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday. “I’ve always found him to be a very, very good person. So I feel very badly.”
Trump went on to imply that at least some of the women were lying.
“I can tell you that some of the women that are complaining…when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him,” Trump said. “And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him.”
This is not the first time Trump has defended men accused of sexual misconduct. The Republican presidential nominee stood up for his good friend Mike Tyson in 1992, even after a jury officially convicted him for raping Desiree Washington, a college student from Rhode Island.
“You have a young woman that was in his hotel room late in the evening at her own will,” Trump said in defense of Tyson. Trump also questioned whether Washington was even telling the truth — because a video after the incident showed her “dancing with a big smile on her face, looking happy as can be.”
When Tyson officially endorsed the Republican presidential nominee in April, Trump bragged about his support.
“Mike Tyson endorsed me. I love it…when I get endorsed by the tough ones,” he said.
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