The FBI has publicly released its files on Fox News founder Roger Ailes, who died in May.
“The release is more than 100 pages and mostly includes a background check that the FBI completed before Ailes worked for President Nixon, and two subsequent ‘expanded name checks’ in 1988 and 1990 for access to the George H.W. Bush White House,” The Hill reports. “Ailes never actually worked in the White House, but served as a consultant to Nixon and President Reagan and President Bush after serving in their campaigns. In a tribute to Ailes after his death, Bush credited the eventual Fox News chief for getting him elected.”
FBI records show the agency interviewed at least 30 people connected to Ailes.
The Hollywood Reporter notes that the files, which span from 1969 to 1990, contain material on Ailes in connection with the investigation of John Hinckley Jr.’s attempted assassination of President Reagan in 1981, along with information about Ailes’ 1974 arrest in New York City for possession of an illegal firearm.
“Ailes was interviewed by the FBI on April 3, 1981, four days after the March 30 attempt on the president’s life, because Hinckley had a pair of tickets to the March 2 taping of ‘The Tomorrow Show With Tom Snyder,’ which Ailes produced,” THR reports. “Guests that night were comedian Pat Cooper, Mafia expert Ralph Salerno, singer Leo Sayer and gossip columnist Rona Barrett. The FBI reviewed a tape of the episode, paying particular attention to the Salerno segment to see if they could see Hinckley in the audience (they couldn’t). Agents also verified that Jodie Foster and Robert De Niro had never appeared on the show.”