A Politico analysis of the two presidential campaigns reveals some startling – but not too surprising – information about how Kimberly Guilfoyle’s trashy unprofessionalism and lasciviousness was a big headache for the Trump campaign.
As they struggled to address the cash woes, Trump’s advisers had another headache: Guilfoyle, the campaign’s fundraising chair.
Republican Party and campaign officials were convinced that Guilfoyle’s team, which was beset by infighting and departures, was vastly underperforming. There was anger over their abrupt cancelation of a late September virtual fundraiser with the president that was supposed to rake in as much as $15 million just ahead of the third quarter deadline.
Senior campaign officials, meanwhile, had been getting reports that Guilfoyle had been berating her staff. Appearing together at fundraisers, Guilfoyle and her boyfriend, Donald Trump Jr., would banter in sexually suggestive ways that made some donors uncomfortable.
During a December donor event at Trump Hotel in Washington, Guilfoyle offered to give a lap dance to whoever raised the most money, according to two people who were present and another person who was familiar with the episode.
And at an event in Jackson Hole, Wyo. earlier this year, Guilfoyle and the younger Trump joked about how she raised money while in hot tubs. Another attendee presented a slightly different version, saying that whoever in the audience raised the most money would be offered a hot tub party with Guilfoyle.
And at a fall 2018 fundraiser headlined by country star Toby Keith, Guilfoyle cracked that her boyfriend liked it when she dressed up as a Dallas Cowboys cheerleader, according to an attendee.
Such behavior is perfectly consistent with what Jane Mayer depicted in a profile of Guilfoyle in in The New Yorker last month. That article delved into the events that led to Guilfoyle’s departure from Fox News. Mayer said then that the behavior she learned about “raises serious questions about Guilfoyle’s fitness as a character witness for Trump, let alone as a top campaign official.”
It turns out that soon after Guilfoyle left Fox, her assistant received a large settlement from the network after having alleged repeated sexual harassment by the then-Fox News host.
According to a dozen well-informed sources familiar with her complaints, the assistant alleged that Guilfoyle, her direct supervisor, subjected her frequently to degrading, abusive, and sexually inappropriate behavior; among other things, she said that she was frequently required to work at Guilfoyle’s New York apartment while the Fox host displayed herself naked, and was shown photographs of the genitalia of men with whom Guilfoyle had had sexual relations. The draft complaint also alleged that Guilfoyle spoke incessantly and luridly about her sex life, and on one occasion demanded a massage of her bare thighs; other times, she said, Guilfoyle told her to submit to a Fox employee’s demands for sexual favors, encouraged her to sleep with wealthy and powerful men, asked her to critique her naked body, demanded that she share a room with her on business trips, required her to sleep over at her apartment, and exposed herself to her, making her feel deeply uncomfortable.
When an outside investigation into sexual harassment at Fox began, Guilfoyle reportedly offered the assistant hush money and other “inducements” for her loyalty, such as "a private-plane ride to Rome, a percentage of Guilfoyle’s future speaking fees, and an on-air reporting opportunity.”
One current and one former Fox employee confirmed the assistant’s allegation that Guilfoyle had often shared lewd images, noting that she had shown photographs of male genitalia to them, too—some of romantic partners, others of fans. Another former employee described Guilfoyle showing pornographic videos in the office. Guilfoyle’s graphic sexual talk so upset hair-and-makeup artists at Fox that they lodged an internal complaint, triggering an investigation by the company.
Since taking the fund-raising position, Guilfoyle has attracted some criticism. In March, an opulent fifty-first-birthday party was held for Guilfoyle at Trump’s private Mar-a-Lago Club, in Palm Beach, and, according to the Times, the festivities were paid for, in part, by campaign donors.
I wonder what she’ll do for her next act.
(H/T reader Eric Jefferson)
(Guilfoyle image via screen grab)