As GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump sees his poll numbers continue to falter, several sources have told the Financial Times that Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, approached Aryeh Bourkoff of LionTree investment banking about a possible Trump TV network.
TrumpTV has been rumored for months, and the speculation only intensified when the GOP nominee hired Breitbart's Steve Bannon to run his campaign in August. Bannon, described by Daily Wire Editor-in-Chief Ben Shapiro as a "vindictive, nasty figure," has already effectively transformed Breitbart, the once widely respected conservative outlet, into a Trump propaganda website. Now that Bannon's guiding the actual Trump campaign, what will follow if the businessman loses the election?
According to Financial Times:
"...the approach suggests Mr Kushner and the Republican candidate himself are thinking about how to capitalise on the populist movement that has sprung up around their campaign in the event of an election defeat to Democrat Hillary Clinton next month. Mr Trump has in recent days ramped up his criticism of the 'dishonest and distorted' mainstream media, which he accuses of being biased against him in collusion with the Clinton campaign."
It's true that Trump has recently intensified his criticism of the media--and even the election itself--calling it a rigged process. During a speech in New Hampshire Saturday, Trump said:
"Remember this, it's a rigged election because you have phony people coming up with phony allegations with no witnesses whatsoever. The election is being rigged by corrupt media pushing completely false allegations and outright lies in an effort to elect her (Clinton) president."
At a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, Trump told a raucous crowd:
"This election will determine whether we are a free nation or whether we have only the illusion of democracy, but are in fact controlled by a small handful of global special interests rigging the system, and our system is rigged. This is reality. You know it, they know it, I know it, and pretty much the whole world knows it."
Trump is not only preparing his followers for his possible defeat but also stoking the fires of outrage that, should he lose the election on November 8, will be primed for some form of release. With a subscription-based TrumpTV network, the populist furor fanned by The Donald and his acolytes could prove quite profitable.
Kushner, already in the media business as the owner of the New York Observer, has allegedly not seen Bourkoff since their initial meeting, according to sources close to the situation. Additionally, Donald Trump dismissed the idea of starting his own network in August, saying it was a "false rumor."
Then again, Trump has been known to weave a tall tale now and again. If he can't rescue his fading campaign, TrumpTV could be a very lucrative plan B.