Is Roger Ailes, not Kellyanne Conway, the real "Trump whisperer"?

Several people close to Trump said bluntly that his well-documented aversion to stage management could probably not be overcome by a woman — with the sole exception of his eldest daughter. Indeed, many inside the candidate’s orbit believe that if there is any “Trump-whisperer” who deserves credit for his occasional forays into seriousness, it’s Ivanka. Others attribute Trump’s discipline to his own competitive drive and fear of losing the election.

Meanwhile, two sources close to Roger Ailes said the former Fox News chief is playing a much larger backstage role in handling Trump than most people realize. More than anyone, they said, it is Ailes — a master of political communications and media — that has succeeded in getting Trump to stay on script and soften his tone.

One source predicted that Ailes would get plenty of ink in the various post-2016 insider campaign books, but said he was “happy for now having his role downplayed.” Though Ailes is not on the campaign’s payroll, he is said to be actively advising the candidate ahead of Monday night’s debate.

“Trump doesn’t listen to anyone,” said a Republican close to Ailes. “But he does listen to Roger sometimes.”