In transcripts released ahead of his Sunday appearance on NBC’s Meet the Press, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump stood by former Fox News CEO Roger Ailes, who stepped down on Thursday amid allegations of sexual harassment.
Toronto Star correspondent Daniel Dale published the transcripts on his Twitter feed Saturday evening.
Meet the Press host Chuck Dodd asked Trump about the allegations against Ailes, and the candidate replied, “Well I don’t want to comment. But he’s been a friend of mine for a really long time. And I can tell you that some of the women who are complaining, I know how much he’s helped them. And even recently. And when they write books that are fairly recently released, and they say wonderful things about him.”
He went on, “And now all of a sudden they’re saying these horrible things about him. It’s very sad. Because he’s a very good person. I’ve always found him to be just a very, very good person. Any by the way a very, very talented person. Look what he’s done. So I feel very badly. But a lot of people are thinking he’s going to run my campaign.”
Since Gretchen Carlson announced two weeks ago that she was leaving the network and suing Ailes for sexual harassment, multiple women have approached her legal team saying that they experienced similar harassment from Ailes.
On Saturday, the New York Times published an article in which a dozen women from the network said that the sexual harassment there wasn’t confined to Ailes at all. The women painted a lurid picture of a work environment where they are constantly harassed, pressured to provide sexual favors and are continually subject to unwanted and inappropriate touching.
In another excerpt from the Meet the Press interview, Trump boasted that WWE boss Vince McMahon told him his dramatic entrance on to the convention floor was “a very, very good entrance.”
He doubled down on his remarks regarding NATO countries and got irritable when Todd asked him to rebuke the glowing nomination he received from Klansman David Duke.
“Rebuked,” he snapped. “Is that okay? Rebuked, done.”