Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was so unsettled after a 2010 meeting with then-Fox News executive Roger Ailes that she told staff members she would not meet with him alone again, according to a new book from a New York Times journalist.
The revelation about the meeting between Palin and Ailes comes from an excerpt from Jeremy Peters’ forthcoming book, “Insurgency: How Republicans Lost Their Party and Got Everything They Ever Wanted.”
The excerpt reported Saturday in the New York Times details the role Ailes played in giving rise to conservative stars such as Palin, Glenn Beck and former President Donald Trump.
Palin already had a national profile. Axios reported on an excerpt from Peters book where Sen. John McCain, as the 2008 Republican nominee for president, mimicked rolling the dice at a craps table when he selected the Alaska governor to be his running mate.
After McCain and Palin lost the 2008 election, Palin became a conservative media darling and in 2010 joined Fox News as a paid contributor making $1 million a year, according to Peters.
But Peters reported that Ailes made Palin uncomfortable by commenting on her looks. After a 2010 one-on-one meeting, Palin emerged “looking white as a ghost,” and told aides, “I’m never meeting with him alone again.”
Ailes left Fox News in 2016, amid allegations that he sexually harassed several women. He died in 2017.
Before his ouster, though, Ailes played a significant role in the rise of Trump, according to Peters. But Ailes also was frustrated by his interactions with the eventual president.
“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,” Peters reported Ailes as telling Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano in 2016.
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