Fox News chairman Roger Ailes does not recall a specific or negative incident with former FNC contributor Bill Kristol, “doesn’t have an issue with him,” and the reason Kristol ended his decade-long run as FNC contributor this past summer was owing to the network having “made a lot of changes,” Fox News said this morning. This, in response to a report in Politico that Kristol, the editor and publisher of The Weekly Standard, left his Fox News contributor gig two years after he and Ailes got into a disagreement that had a cooling effect on their relationship.

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The report cited anonymous sources, who told columnist Dylan Byers that Ailes had asked Kristol in 2011 to take a negative stance toward “a certain individual” because Ailes wanted to “give that person a bad reputation.” That resulted in “coolness” between the two men, though their relationship remained cordial.

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“Roger doesn’t recall a specific or negative incident — he likes Bill and doesn’t have an issue with him,” Fox News said in a statement this morning. “We made a lot of changes at the network and had been talking to George Will for some time. At this point, Bill’s contract ran out, and we declined to renew it.” Politico reported that Kristol — who announced his departure from the network in August — was less central to Fox News programming during the 2012 election than during previous election cycles, that both parties agreed not to renew his contract and that Kristol said he had been “treated nicely” at Fox News but declined to comment on “the incident.”

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