Speed Reads

Alternative History

Hillary Clinton turned down a meeting with Rupert Murdoch. He was considering endorsing her.

What would have happened if they actually met?

The New York Times reported Wednesday that Rupert Murdoch — who was initially opposed to the idea of a Donald Trump presidency — flirted with the idea of endorsing Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 presidential election.

It's a common assessment, at this point, that President Trump's rise was aided by Fox News, a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's global media empire, which has altered the political fate of numerous countries across the world. Trump and Murdoch had cultivated a relationship dating back to the 1970s when Trump became a star tabloid figure heavily featured in Murdoch's New York Post, so the unofficial partnership makes sense. But Murdoch never thought highly of Trump as a person — sources told the Times that the media mogul has referred to the president as a "[expletive] idiot" in the past. Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News, shared that sentiment as well, believing Trump was not "remotely worthy" of the Oval Office.

So, Murdoch reportedly personally called Clinton and left a message at her campaign headquarters with the intention of setting up a meeting. Clinton did call back shortly, but declined Murdoch's invitation. Spurned by Clinton, Murdoch was left with more time to come around to the idea of Trump as he continued to defy expectations and stay at the top. The rest, as they say, is history. Read more at The New York Times.