Making Roger Ailes his advisor is Trump’s most worrying move yet

What he says and what he promises aren’t great for women – but you’d think he’d show more grace towards the ones he employs


Picture this for a moment, you’re a young woman at work. You always put in a good shift, and you like and respect your employer. Then he hires someone who has recently been accused of multiple instances of sexual harassment. How does this make you feel?

Donald Trump has recently taken in Roger Ailes as an advisor for the upcoming debate, on Sept. 26 at Hofstra University, the New York Times reports.

Ailes is the former chairman of Fox News, but he resigned last month after multiple allegations of sexual harassment began to emerge.

Gretchen Carlson, former Fox News anchor, has been the most vocal about her experience with Ailes’s alleged harassment. Carlson has filed a lawsuit against Ailes claiming he “unlawfully retaliated against Carlson and sabotaged her career because she refused sexual advances and complained about severe and pervasive sexual harassment.”

According to New York Magazine, more than a dozen women have made extensive allegations of sexual misconduct, including Megyn Kelly, one of Fox News’ most well-known reporters.

Laurie Luhn, former Fox News event planner, spoke to New York Magazine in vivid detail about her experience. Luhn says she endured Ailes’s harassment for more than 20 years. She described how Ailes would dangle potential promotions in front of her as a way of keeping her in line.

She describes one experience when Ailes asked her to perform oral sex. “What are you, Laurie? Are you Roger’s whore? Are you Roger’s spy? Come over here,” Ailes said.

Luhn’s story is backed up by a family friend who first heard the allegations in 2010, and multiple Fox News employees who claim to have known about Ailes and Luhn’s relationship.

Roger Ailes

Roger Ailes

It’s important to clarify that at this point, Carlson, Kelly, Luhn and the other women’s allegations are just that: allegations.

But Roger Ailes cannot be someone that would bring female Trump employees a sense of security – though no charges have been brought, working alongside a man you knew was facing allegations of sexual misconduct would still be deeply unsettling. Although it’s hard to get into the mindset of a woman who’d work on the Trump campaign, I can’t imagine having someone facing charges of sexual harassment working a few desks over would be too comforting.

Trump has quite a long wrap sheet of inappropriate things he has said to women, such as his comment to Megyn Kelly saying she must have had her period while she was grilling him during the debate. Trump also told a young reporter she “wouldn’t have her job if she wasn’t beautiful”. Then there’s his Twitter.

None of these are as offensive as his now-deleted tweet about Hillary Clinton.

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As if Trump’s loud mouth isn’t enough proof of his utter disrespect for women, his policies are not much better. He has recently changed his tune on abortion and is now pro-life. He has pledged to defund Planned Parenthood, and went as far as saying women who have abortions should be subject to “some sort of punishment”. He also does not seem to take unreported military sexual assaults seriously.

Trump’s disregard for his female employees should come as no surprise. In a phone interview with USA Today, he was asked “what if someone had treated Ivanka like Ailes allegedly treated Carlson. “I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case,” he responded.

According to Trump Ivanka wouldn’t allow herself to be sexually harassed saying,“Ivanka is a strong, powerful woman” who “wouldn’t allow herself to be subjected to it.”

In an attempt to clarify his father’s comments the next day on CBS, Eric Trump said: “I don’t think she would allow herself to be subjected to that. I think that’s a point he was making, and I think he did so well.”

Well, Eric, by bringing Ailes into the fold let’s hope you and your father are right, and Ivanka doesn’t have to find out what it’s like to be sexually harassed.