Those yearning to change the channel on the 2016 election now have a new program to avoid.
Donald Trump‘s campaign launched its own nightly newscast on Facebook Live Monday night, further fueling speculation that the GOP nominee is planning to build a Fox News-like media empire to capitalize on his fervent fanbase if he loses the election on Nov. 8.
Trump, however, attempted to quash those rumors Tuesday morning when he spoke to Cincinnati radio station 700WLW.
“No, I have no interest in Trump TV,” he said. “I hear it all over the place. I have a tremendous fan base, we have a tremendous base. We have the most incredible people, but I just don’t have any interest in that. I have one interest, that’s on Nov. 8.”[soundcloud url="https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/289898441" params="visual=true&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false" width="100%" height="200" iframe="true" /]
“So, no, I have no interest in beyond that,” he also said as he expressed confidence about his campaign. “I have interest in making America great again.”
Monday night’s initial broadcast was hosted by Trump campaign advisers Cliff Sims and Boris Epshteyn, the latter of whom declared that they were “excited to be bypassing the left-wing media … which skews everything.”
The guests on Monday night’s show included Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway, RNC communications director Sean Spicer and conservative commentator Tomi Lahren.
Although recent polls show Trump trailing rival Hillary Clinton by 5 to 12 points in the final weeks of the election, Conway insisted on the broadcast, “This race is not over … Let me just say unequivocally: We will win.”
The “nightly campaign coverage,” as the Trump camp called it, will broadcast live from Trump Tower in New York City at 6:30 p.m. ET every night until Election Day. The hosts denied that the program was a test run for the rumored “Trump TV” endeavor, with Sims saying, “This is just an effort by us … to give you the message straight from the campaign. You don’t have to take it from the media and the spin they put on it.”
Despite Trump’s denials, NPR notes a trio of other hints that Trump could be considering launching his own post-election news network: the addition of two former conservative media heads, Fox News’ Roger Ailes and Breitbart’s Steve Bannon, to his campaign, and the fact that his son-in-law, New York Observer owner Jared Kushner, has reportedly talked to investors about a possible network.
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About 60,000 people tuned into the Facebook Live broadcast on Monday night, but just half of them reportedly remained after just a half an hour in. Epshteyn and Sims held a similar broadcast after last week’s final debate on Wednesday, which drew nearly 200,000 viewers, according to Politico.
Trump has previously said he has “no interest” in launching a media company if he loses the election.
“False rumor,” he told The Washington Post last month.