Fox News reporter says Trump invited her to his office 'so we can kiss'
A Fox News reporter has added her name to the list of nearly two dozen women who have accused Donald Trump of making unwanted sexual advances towards them. In a book published next week, Fox & Friends fill-in host Courtney Friel claims Trump propositioned her before he became US president.
“You should come up to my office sometime, so we can kiss,” Friel says Trump told her, adding that he considered her “the hottest one at Fox News”.
The claims, reported by the New York Daily News, are contained in Friel’s upcoming memoir, Tonight At 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News.
Friel, 39, says Trump’s come-on was made during a phone call to her office weeks after she mentioned an interest in working as a judge on his Miss USA beauty pageant. She says she was shocked by the proposition, which “came out of nowhere”.
“‘Donald,’ I responded, ‘I believe we’re both married.’ I quickly ended the call,” she wrote in her book.
“This proposition made it difficult for me to report with a straight face on Trump running for president. It infuriated me that he would call all the women who shared stories of his bold advances liars. I totally believe them,” she says.
Friel joins a long line accusers who say the president has sexually harassed or assaulted them.
In November, Summer Zervos, a former contestant Trump’s The Apprentice reality TV show, presented court evidence to support claims that Trump sexually assaulted her in a hotel room in 2007. Zevos first made her claims in 2016 after audio emerged of Trump boasting to Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush about grabbing women’s genitals.
While Friel and Zevos’ claims are not as well known as those leveled by Stormy Daniels or Karen McDougal, they bring the total number of women who have come forward accusing Trump of sexual misconduct of varying degrees to more than 20, according to a Guardian tally in November.
The White House claims the women are lying, while Trump has suggested some were not attractive enough for him to want to sexually assault.
Quiet Stormy Daniels
Rupert Murdoch’s Fox News channel knew about Donald Trump’s illegal hush money payment to a pornographic film actor ahead of the 2016 election but killed the story because the media mogul wanted him to win, it was reported on Monday.
The Fox journalist Diana Falzone “had obtained proof” of Trump’s alleged extramarital affair with Stormy Daniels, as well as emails that showed his lawyer, Michael Cohen, planned to buy her silence through a non-disclosure agreement, according to the New Yorker.
But the report, a potentially huge scandal that could have damaged Trump at the polls, never saw the light of day. The Fox News executive Ken LaCorte reportedly told Falzone: “Good reporting, kiddo. But Rupert wants Donald Trump to win. So just let it go,” the New Yorker article says.
The magazine adds that LaCorte denied the comment, but one of Falzone’s colleagues confirmed having heard the account. Falzone was later demoted, sued Fox and reached a settlement that includes a non-disclosure agreement preventing her from speaking about the matter.