A lawsuit filed Monday by Republican consultant Cheri Jacobus claims that Corey Lewandowski, Donald Trump’s campaign manager, bragged that Fox News and Roger Ailes is allegedly “on board” with the real estate mogul’s campaign for the White House. Moreover, the lawsuit claims that Lewandowski bragged about Trump’s friendships with Ailes, Fox News host Bill O’Reilly and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough.
The same day the lawsuit was filed, Newsbusters reported that a study indicates that Fox News has become the most biased network in favor of Trump, giving the candidate and his surrogates some 397 minutes of air time between March 21 and April 15. In contrast, Ted Cruz and his surrogates only received 164 minutes of air time — less than one-half that afforded Trump.
“At the lunch Lewandowski asked Jacobus, in sum and substance, if she was under a contract with any of television networks,” the lawsuit says. “Jacobus replied that she was not, but would like to be. Lewandowski responded to this reply by stating that Trump was very close to Roger Ailes, the head of FOX, and that after the campaign Trump could probably pick up the phone and get Jacobus a FOX contract.”
The lawsuit also alleges that at another meeting, “Lewandowski continued that he and Trump had dinner with Ailes recently and had assurances that FOX was on board.” Furthermore, Jacobus said she “was astonished that Lewandowski would openly make such a statement to her. Lewandowski then took from his desk drawer a printed copy of an email from Ailes to Trump in which Ailes communicated to Trump that Trump should let him know what FOX could do to help. The printed email included a handwritten note from Trump to Lewandowski with a notation which stated, in sum and substance, ‘Corey FYI.’”
Afterward, Jacobus said both Trump and Lewandowski publicly attacked her as a desperate job seeker. After those attacks, she said, the network quit contacting her.
Fox, CNN Money said, disputes Lewandowski’s characterization of Ailes’ letter. The network also disputes claims that Ailes ever met Lewandowski.
“It’s hardly uncommon for Roger Ailes to sign correspondence by offering a helping hand, but it would be a fanciful interpretation to equate a cordial email with providing assistance to a political candidate in the vein of editorial coverage,” a Fox News spokesperson told CNN Money. “Furthermore, Roger doesn’t recall having even met Corey Lewandowski, much less dining with him.”
Publicly, CNN added, Ailes’ approach to Trump has been somewhat adversarial. But a number of grassroots conservatives say many on the network, including O’Reilly and Sean Hannity, appear to be fully in the tank for Trump, and a post at RedState implies the revelations in the lawsuit may provide some possible answers.