The First Episode Of Donald Trump's Nightly News Show On Facebook Was A Preview Of What's To Come
It's becoming increasingly apparent that Donald Trump wants to launch a media company after he loses the presidential election. His son-in-law and confidant Jared Kushner has already explored funding possibilities for such a venture, and on Monday, Trump gave us a sneak peek at what it might look like. That's right: The first episode of Donald Trump's nightly news show premiered on Facebook Monday evening, and it gave us a good idea of what to expect from Trump after the election.
"Join us LIVE at 6:30pmE!," Trump announced on his Facebook earlier in the day, the letter "E" presumably referring to Eastern Standard Time. "Our nightly campaign coverage from Trump Tower!"
Monday's broadcast opened with Trump campaign advisor Cliff Sims asking viewers to "make sure your friends are getting engaged" by sharing the video (and the campaign contribution link contained therein). It primarily featured Sims and Boris Epshteyn, another Trump adviser, vehemently agreeing with each other that Hillary Clinton is bad and that Trump has a real shot at becoming the next president. They were joined by Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, who agreed with them.
"Let me just say unequivocally," said Conway, turning to look at the camera. "We will win."
The proto-TV network then aired a clip of Trump criticizing Clinton at one of the debates — you imagine these spots will be filled with commercials once it launches in earnest — before returning to Epshteyn and Sims. After a brief interruption from what appeared to be an incoming Skype call to the computer airing the broadcast, the show cut to Trump surrogate Tomi Lahren.
"If you want a president that's perfect, that's never said anything wrong, that never made a mishap or a misstep — well, you're not going to find one in this election," Lahren said. She then predicted that the Clinton campaign is "going to beat us at every turn when it comes to organization," which is probably true, but was odd to hear on a Trump-branded TV station. But after that, RNC spokesperson Sean Spicer joined the program to explain that actually, the reason so many Trump campaign offices are empty is that Trump volunteers are all out and about knocking on doors, recruiting volunteers and so on.
All of this commentary served primarily as build-up to a Trump rally in Tampa, which the broadcast promptly cut to as soon as it began.
It may seem uncouth for a presidential candidate to launch a news show before the election is over. Trump's decision to do so may be based in part on the fact that, for all intents and purposes, the election is over. Although he projects confidence on the campaign trail, Trump may recognize that he's bound for defeat, and he's even admitted that he's losing. By unveiling Trump TV (or the Trump News Network, or whatever he ends up calling it) so early, he's simply getting a jump start on what he'll inevitably be doing after November anyway.
So far, the show isn't much more than an extension of Trump's presidential campaign — a sort of Fox News for the alt-right, composed mainly of bashing Clinton and, to a slightly lesser degree, the moderate Republican establishment. And that's as good a template as any for a post-election Trump TV station, as it's a formula that can be used indefinitely after Clinton's expected victory in November to draw in conservative viewers.
Indeed, it looks like this is the plan, as Sims noted that they will be broadcasting this Trump nightly news show every night.