Donald Trump is taking another step toward his rumored goal of launching his own TV network.
The GOP presidential candidate debuted a surreal nightly “news” show on his Facebook page Monday — with claims the program will run every night until the election on Nov. 8.
“This is just an effort by to reach out and give you the message straight from the campaign,” said Cliff Simms, a Trump adviser who cohosted the program along with campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and adviser Boris Epshteyn. “You don’t have to take it through the media filter and all the spin they put on it. You can hear it from us directly.”
The program, apparently dubbed Trump Tower Live, is streamed from Trump’s campaign war room. The video plays like a typical newscast — if a typical newscast featured only Trump’s staff interviewing each other without challenging questions or dissent. At one point, conservative commentator Tomi Lahren joins in, and then the stream cuts to Trump’s rally in Florida.
For months, Trump has been slamming “the media” (along with just about everything else), and has in turn been criticized in recent weeks for ducking interviews with legitimate news outlets in favor of one-on-one chats with Fox News’ personality Sean Hannity.
Another area Trump has been criticized is his admiration for authoritarian rulers, so there’s something rather perfectly in character about the candidate launching his own propagandist news show. Still, if Trump supporters want to hear pro-Trump talking points and nothing else, the program is arguably effective at providing a news-style option amid the legitimate news programs that often focus on the candidate’s poll numbers and controversies.
Trump has denied that he plans to use the election to springboard a TV network. But two weeks ago, the Financial Times reported that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, was exploring the possibility of launching a TV network, and a New York Times report in August suggested Kushner and Trump had “quietly explored” becoming involved in a media company. Previously Trump had a single Facebook newscast that ran ahead of the final presidential debate.
Check out Trump’s effort to Make TV News Great Again below.