The Trump campaign, headed into the final two weeks of the White House race, launched a nightly Facebook Live show Monday night in an attempt to bypass the biased liberal media and take The Donald’s message directly to the voters. Taking advantage of the Republican nominee’s extraordinary online base of support, the show will begin each night at 6:30 PM and feature pundits, campaign staff, and coverage of the evening’s Donald Trump rally.
“We all know how strong the left wing media bias is,” said campaign adviser Boris Epshteyn, who hosts the show along with Cliff Sims. “This is us delivering our message to voters.”
The broadcast sparked a new wave of rumors about Trump’s plans beyond election day, should he lose to Hillary Clinton. According to the Financial Times, Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner – one of the candidate’s closest allies – met with investors last week to discuss launching a TV network branded with the Trump name.
Epshteyn, in an interview with Wired, said the Facebook broadcasts have nothing to do with those rumors.
“It has nothing to do with Trump TV,” he said. “It’s about using 21st century technology and communication in a way that’s effective.”
The debut broadcast featured interviews with Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway and conservative pundit Tomi Lahren, set up to resemble the talking-head shows on cable news. According to The Hill, more than 60,000 viewers signed on to watch the program within the first few minutes.
Whether or not this strategy will help Trump overcome the apparent polling gap between himself and Clinton, it’s another reminder of just how unprecedented this campaign really is. The media has mocked him for his poor ground game and his tendency to stray off message, but they haven’t given his unique approach the credit it deserves. Trump has spent far less than his opponent, and he has perhaps shown future candidates that you don’t have to put all of your money into TV ads and get-out-the-vote schemes to win.
For as much as they like to portray Trump as a nostalgia candidate, he is changing the game in ways that may not become clear for years. True, he may lose, but his stumbles have less to do with a broken campaign and more to do with his own refusal to stay disciplined. Frankly, if it weren’t for all the sexual stuff that came out a few weeks ago, he would probably be ahead in the national polls.
If he does lose, Republicans would do well to study his campaign with an open mind. If they collectively turn their backs on everything “Trump” on November 9, Hillary Clinton’s first four years will just be the beginning.