A new report says that Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is planning to use his wide audience appeal to launch a "mini-media conglomerate" after the November election.
An unidentified source told Vanity Fair that Trump has asked the advice of daughter Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, the owner of The New York Observer; neither would comment to Vanity Fair.
The source said that Trump's belief is "win or lose, we are onto something here. We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time."
Kushner reportedly said at a dinner party in New York City that "the people here don’t understand what I’m seeing. You go to these arenas and people go crazy for him."
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According to the source, Trump has been upset that news media organizations have profited from coverage of his self-generated controversy, which "brings him to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network." The source said that Trump has "gotten the bug" and "[s]o now he wants to figure out if he can monetize it."
In response to the report, Hope Hicks, Trump’s spokeswoman, told Vanity Fair: "There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever. This hasn’t been even uttered. Not even thought about."
After Hicks spoke to Trump, she added: "While it’s true Mr. Trump garners exceptionally high ratings, there are absolutely no plans or discussions taking place regarding a venture of this nature."
Vanity Fair notes that after Hicks gave her statement to the magazine, Trump tweeted: "The press is so totally biased that we have no choice but to take our tough but fair and smart message directly to the people!"
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An unidentified source, who knows Kushner, doesn't think Trump will try to start his own media company until after the election because he is relying on the media to win in November.
According to Real Clear Politics, Trump currently trails Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in eight major polls by an average of 5.8 points.
Trump would not be the first candidate to use his or her fame for personal gain after an election.
Former Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin started her own pay internet channel, which is no longer in business, but is reportedly going to host a new judge TV show.
Former Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee hosted his own show on Fox News for years following his failed run in 2008. He quit his show to run another failed campaign in 2016.
Still, there's no denying that Trump knows how to master media attention during a presidential run like few in modern political history; presidents FDR, Kennedy and Reagan come to mind. But even those political giants didn't see the potential income that Trump reportedly has his eyes on.
"Even old Fox News didn’t have the right read on what the base is," an unidentified source told Vanity Fair. "And we do."