Trump nominates Scott Brown as ambassador amid Fox News misconduct allegations
(WASHINGTON) -- Two weeks after defending former Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, calling him "a good person," President Trump is offering an ambassadorship to a different man mentioned in a sexual misconduct lawsuit against Fox News.
Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who is also a former Fox News contributor, will be nominated as the ambassador to New Zealand, the White House said on Thursday.
The nomination comes after Brown, a Republican, campaigned for Trump in the general election and aggressively lobbied to become secretary of veterans affairs.
Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros alleged in a lawsuit last August that Brown made several sexually inappropriate comments to her on set: among them, that she "would be fun to go to a nightclub with," which she said was delivered "in a suggestive manner."
He also allegedly crept up behind Tantaros in the cafeteria and touched her lower waist, causing her to pull away and tell him to stop, she said.
The allegations were part of a suit Tantaros brought against Fox News and its former chairman Roger Ailes, for what she called "a sex-fueled, Playboy Mansion-like cult, steeped in intimidation, indecency and misogyny." Brown was not named as a defendant.
Brown, who requires Senate confirmation, did not immediately respond to ABC News’s request for comment. But he has emphatically denied the accusations in the past, tweeting last summer that "as a survivor of sexual abuse, I would never perpetuate language or actions as described in Fox complaint. Actions referenced are fabricated."
In his 2011 autobiography "Against All Odds," Brown wrote that he was abused by a camp counselor as a child.
As a survivor of sexual abuse, I would never perpetuate language or actions as described in FOX complaint. Actions referenced are fabricated— Scott P. Brown (@SenScottBrown) August 23, 2016
His nomination comes less than 24 hours after Fox announced it was parting ways with O’Reilly, in the wake of sexual harassment allegations and questions about company culture. The company cut ties with Roger Ailes after he was alleged to have solicited sex from subordinates. Both men have denied the allegations.
In both cases, President Trump has offered words of public support. In July on NBC’s "Meet the Press," he called Ailes "a very, very good person." Sitting in the Oval Office April 5, he told The New York Times, "I don’t think Bill did anything wrong."
After Trump nominated Brown for the ambassadorship, he received congratulations from both sides of the aisle.
Democrat Elizabeth Warren, who succeeded Brown, 57, as the senator from Massachusetts, said on Twitter, "You have my support & I'm sure you'll make the people of MA proud."
Congrats @SenScottBrown on your nomination for New Zealand Ambassador! You have my support & I'm sure you'll make the people of MA proud.— Elizabeth Warren (@SenWarren) April 20, 2017
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