Kayleigh McEnany stood out at CNN as a conservative voice and fierce defender of President Trump during the campaign. Now she's left the network and has turned up, at least temporarily, as the host of a pro-Trump broadcast via the president's Facebook page. McEnany appeared over the weekend to provide a "real news" roundup of the week's headlines. (Watch it here.) Included was a segment on the record close of the stock market, with McEnany adding, "President Trump has clearly steered the economy back in the right direction." Some background and reaction:
- Daughter-in-law: The first video in this new feature came out about a week ago with Trump daughter-in-law Lara Trump, wife of Eric, as the anchor, notes BuzzFeed News. "Watch here for REAL news," went the pitch. The videos are part of Team Trump's response to what it perceives as "fake news" reports.
- Still in charge: A post at the Daily Beast says that Lara Trump is "running the show" of the new project, even if McEnany might be the new face. (The latter part is unclear.) Lara Trump has a background in TV, having once worked as a producer for Inside Edition.
- Advertising? The DB characterizes these as as "advertising" videos funded by Trump's re-election campaign, though the director of the Campaign Legal Center, an ethics watchdog group, faults them for not having any kind of disclosure.
- Criticism: "You really have to want to be fooled if you watch this for news," said Noah Rothman, an editor at Commentary, on Morning Joe on Monday, per Mediaite. "It's the message from the White House and it's pretty well branded as that," he adds. Going further was Michael McFaul, the US ambassador to Russia under President Obama. "Feels eerily like so many state-owned channels I've watched in other countries," he tweeted after watching the McEnany video.
- Colbert: After Lara Trump's effort, Colbert labeled the video series "state-sponsored propaganda," reports Time. His video is here.
- Defenders: In the comments, one sentiment is familiar among supporters: Because of media bias, "it is sad but necessary to have to broadcast President Trump's achievements in this manner," wrote one supporter.
- McEnany at RNC, too: In addition to the "Trump TV" project, McEnany also is the new national spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, per Politico. And Newsweek has more background on her: She's a Harvard Law graduate who frequently defended Trump in her appearances on CNN during the 2016 election, including a heated exchange with Charles Blow of the New York Times.
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