The presumptive Republican nominee is examining the opportunity presented by the “audience” currently supporting him. He has also discussed the possibility of launching a “mini-media conglomerate” outside of his existing TV-production business, Trump Productions LLC. He has, according to one of these people, enlisted the consultation of his daughter Ivanka Trump and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who owns the The New York Observer. Trump’s rationale, according to this person, is that, “win or lose, we are onto something here. We’ve triggered a base of the population that hasn’t had a voice in a long time.”
Trump’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, issued not one but two categorical denials that the presumptive nominee was even considering this possibility. “There is absolutely no truth to this whatsoever,” she told VF. “This hasn’t been even uttered. Not even thought about.” Later, she added: “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.”
The press is so totally biased that we have no choice but to take our tough but fair and smart message directly to the people!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2016
Of course, it wouldn’t be the first time a gibbering racist carried onto the national stage by incoherent resentment converted his or her populist appeal into a career in the media. The trouble with resentment, though, is that if you actually get what you say you want—the presidency, say—then you have to find a new thing to be resentful about. It’s far easier to self-sabotage, so you can just keep being resentful about the same old grievances.
“Even old Fox News didn’t have the right read on what the base is,” one person told VF. “And we do.”