Courtney Friel, a former Fox News reporter, says President Donald Trump made advances towards her before he was elected to the presidency — and when they were each separately married.
Friel outlines the alleged encounter in her upcoming memoir, Tonight At 10: Kicking Booze and Breaking News. During her time at the Fox News Channel, Friel would occasionally fill in as host on Fox and Friends (the show is a noted favorite of Trump’s), which was around the time when she claims Trump propositioned her.
According to an excerpt from her book provided to the New York Daily News, Friel expressed an interest in judging the Miss USA beauty pageant to Trump, who owned and operated the pageant at the time. Trump called her office telephone line in the following weeks.
“Though he said I couldn’t be a judge since I worked at a different network, he did ask me about my career goals and complimented my work at FNC,” Friel writes in her book. Trump allegedly also told Friel she was “the hottest one at Fox News,” and Friel claims that “out of nowhere, he said: ‘You should come up to my office sometime, so we can kiss.’”
She continues: “‘Donald,’ I responded, ‘I believe we’re both married.’ I quickly ended the call.”
Refinery29 reached out for comment — Trump and the White House have not yet reacted to the allegation publicly.
Friel, who has been an anchor at KTLA in Los Angeles since leaving Fox in 2013, writes that the incident made it tough to report on Trump’s 2016 presidential bid. In the book, she also says that she empathizes with the dozens of women who have come forward with claims of unwanted advances and sexual misconduct by Trump. He denies all the previous allegations against him.
“It infuriated me that he would call all the women who shared stories of his bold advances liars,” Friel writes. “I totally believe them.”
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