- The late Roger Ailes spoke of being “constantly” interrupted by former President Trump during talks, per a new book.
- In the book, Times reporter Jeremy W. Peters writes about the relationship between the two men.
- Ailes expressed his feelings about Trump to former Fox News chief legal analyst Andrew Napolitano.
The late Fox News chairman Roger Ailes sometime in 2016 told the network’s then-chief legal analyst Andrew Napolitano he wasn’t thrilled when he had to speak to former President Donald Trump, who was then a candidate for office, according to a new book.
“I hate it when he calls me. He talks to me like I talk to you. He cuts me off. He doesn’t let me finish my sentences. He constantly interrupts me,” Ailes told Napolitano, according to the upcoming book, written by the New York Times political reporter Jeremy W. Peters.
When Roger Ailes was the chairman of Fox News, he led the network to dizzying heights in the world of cable news, cultivating voices like political commentator Glenn Beck and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin for conservative audiences across the country.
However, there was one figure who was key to the rise of Ailes, even dating back to his old days at CNBC — Trump.
The former president has been a staple of the media and television world for years, from 1980s-era interviews on CNN’s “The Larry King Show” to his successful stint on NBC’s “The Apprentice,” but it was at Fox News where Trump’s increased visibility gave rise to his future 2016 presidential campaign.
In 2011, Ailes bet big on Trump, giving him a weekly time slot on the network and telling staffers that the businessman was a “relatable rich” figure who would prove to be attractive to viewers, according to the adaptation of an upcoming book.
While Trump was able to deliver his own form of star power for the network, supporters of the bombastic businessman were also helping reshape American political discourse in the ensuing years, as Peters detailed in “Insurgency: How Republicans Lost Their Party and Got Everything They Ever Wanted,” which will be released February 8.
In the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election — which Trump entered as a first-time political candidate before quickly dominating the Republican field — he brought viewers to the network.
Ailes — who was ousted from the network in May 2016 after facing multiple accusations of sexual harassment before he died in May 2017 — was cognizant of the political figure that he had helped create, according to the book.
Despite the role that Fox News played in Trump’s journey to the White House, the former president remains frustrated by the network’s decision to call Arizona for now-President Joe Biden on Election night in 2020.
Trump even exalted in a ratings dip that the network experienced last year.
“They’re doing poorly now, which is nice to watch,” he told Peters in an interview last summer.
The former president then pivoted back to his relationship with the late network executive.
“Roger wasn’t the easiest guy to deal with,” he said. “But he was great at what he did. And he built a behemoth.”
He then emphasized: “And that behemoth can evaporate very quickly if they’re not careful.”