Donald Trump appeared to make an otherworldy plea for help to boost the fortunes of Fox News on Tuesday, asking about the whereabouts of its long-dead and disgraced chairman Roger Ailes.
In a tweet criticising the channel’s hiring of Democratic figure Donna Brazile, he said: “Where are you Roger Ailes?”, drawing suggestions he was not aware that Ailes had died in May 2017, shortly after being forced out of Fox amid a series of accusations of sexual misconduct .
The response clearly stung the US president, who later tweeted in characteristic style that he knew “better than anyone” that his friend had died three years ago.
In 2016, the former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson accused Ailes of constant, on-the-job sexual harassment and of firing her when she refused to start a sexual relationship. Her accusations inspired dozens of women to come forward with similar stories. Among them were multiple former Fox News anchors who said his behaviour cost them their jobs.
Shortly after, Ailes accepted a forced resignation – and an exit package reported to be worth $40m.