From the start of Donald Trump's presidential bid, and through his rise to the Republican nomination, some have questioned his ambitions and hinted at ulterior motives. A new report claims Trump is in talks to harness his national support to launch a TV network, should he lose the November election.
“Win or lose, we are onto something here,” said an unnamed source, reports Vanity Fair. “We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time.”
Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, owns the New York Observer. Additionally, Fox News founder Roger Ailes is a close adviser to Trump, and Stephen Bannon, former head of Breitbart News, is Trump’s campaign CEO.
According to USA Today, an Oct. 17 report in the Financial Times states that Kushner has been in contact with Aryeh Bourkoff, founder of investment bank LionTree, to figure out a deal in the case that Trump doesn't become president.
“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,” Hope Hicks, a spokeswoman for Trump, said in June, notes Vanity Fair.
A Trump network would provide a “voice for all these disaffected and disappointed voters who didn’t get what they wanted,” Philip Napoli, a professor of media at Rutgers University, told The Atlantic.
But Matthew Levendusky, a political science professor at the University of Pennsylvania who studies partisan media, has doubts. “Can you really sustain anger that way, and disgust with politics, over and over again?”
According to Vanity Fair, “Trump ... has become irked by his ability to create revenue for other media organizations without being able to take a cut himself.”
An unnamed source close to the nominee added that such a feeling “brings [Trump] to the conclusion that he has the business acumen and the ratings for his own network. "So now he wants to figure out if he can monetize it.”