US & Canada

CNN contributor joins Trump's 'real news' show

Post on the Donald Trump account: "Join Kayleigh McEnany as she provides you the news of the week from Trump Tower in New York! #MAGA #TeamTrump" accompanied by the video Image copyright @donaldtrump facebook
Image caption The President posted the second instalment of his own 'real news' show on Sunday

A former CNN political commentator has become the host of US President Donald Trump's News of the Week video on his personal Facebook page.

Kayleigh McEnany appeared in the second instalment of the new series, the day after she said she was leaving CNN.

It will no doubt be seen as a major coup by Mr Trump, who has been at war with CNN and other "mainstream media" outlets since taking office.

He accuses them of failing to report on the achievements of his administration.

This new online segment, launched by his daughter-in-law Lara last week, appears to be designed to promote Mr Trump's successes, with updates on key policy areas such as immigration and jobs from Trump Tower in New York.

'The real news'

Mrs Trump - married to the president's second son, Eric - opened the first episode suggesting people "haven't heard of all the accomplishments the president had this week because there's so much fake news out there".

Neither Ms McEnany's nor Mrs Trump's videos mentioned the scandals or personnel changes that have dogged the White House since the reality TV star-turned-politician took office.

Both women also signed off by saying "and that is the real news" - suggesting the phrase was to become the short segment's catchline.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The first edition of Donald Trump's new show was fronted by his daughter-in-law Lara, pictured with son Eric

Describing herself online as a Christian conservative, Ms McEnany has regularly defended the president in CNN debates but tweeted on Saturday that she was leaving the channel.

Ms McEnany's CNN credentials are significant because they are the news network Mr Trump has publically criticised the most. In July he tweeted a video of himself wrestling a person with a CNN logo for a head.

Ms McEnany defended the tweet on the news channel as a "tongue-in-cheek satirical video".

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption The clip was originally submitted to a pro-Trump forum on the social media site Reddit

Besides CNN, the president has denounced many news channels and publications as peddlers of "fake news". In February he launched a stinging attack on the media.

In June he attacked MSNBC Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough as "low IQ crazy Mika" and "Psycho Joe". He also referred to Ms Brzezinski as "bleeding badly from a facelift".

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionTV hosts allege White House tabloid threat

Amid the widespread criticism of his comments, the TV hosts suggested the White House had attempted to blackmail them with a smear story in a national tabloid unless they personally apologised for their coverage of Mr Trump.

Is this the start of Trump TV?

As the 2016 Republican presidential candidate, Mr Trump complained about being treated unfairly by the media.

Rumours began circling he was planning to launch his own Trump TV network with his friend Roger Ailes, former Fox News chairman, if he lost the presidency (Mr Ailes died in May).

They deepened after his campaign launched an alternative broadcast during the final presidential debate with Trump-styled political commentators and analysis.

Speaking to the Washington Post in September, Mr Trump denied he was considering founding a media company.

But after months of public spats with the media, this new "real news" weekly broadcast could be the start of Mr Trump trying to capitalise on the anti-media sentiment he has drummed up among supporters.

The power of Trump's social media

It is significant the videos have been posted to Donald Trump's personal Facebook page, where he has over 22 million followers.

He also has over 35 million followers on his personal Twitter account, tens of millions more than on his official @POTUS presidential accounts.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption The White House communications team have also had a turbulent relationship with the press

Mr Trump has not scaled back his use of his social media accounts after being sworn in office and defended his use of Twitter as "modern-day presidential".

The informal online messages are a sharp departure from the usual methods of official communication by US presidents.

From foreign policy statements to the "covfefe" typo, Mr Trump's unorthodox use of the platform has frequently set the international news agenda.

It is believed he hopes the News of the Week will do the same and divert coverage of his presidency, which has so far been dominated by administration infighting and the Russian collusion investigation.

Related Topics

More on this story