President Trump is taking a new approach to so-called “fake news” -- using Facebook to post videos detailing positive news about his administration amid outcries about "state-owned" television and him running a propaganda machine.
The videos come after months and months of Trump railing about the mainstream media spewing fake news to derail his upstart 2016 presidential campaign and now the early months of his administration.
The webcasts -- heavy on news about the economy, nothing on the Russia meddling controversy -- are being filmed in Trump Tower, in Manhattan. And the operation is purportedly being led by daughter-in-law Lara Trump, a former TV producer.
The videos look like any news broadcast -- with Lara Trump and Kayleigh McEnany, a former CNN contributor, appearing to read scripts from a teleprompter.
“Since the president took office, President Trump has created more than 1 million jobs,” McEnany says in a one-minute video uploaded Sunday to the Facebook page. “President Trump has clearly steered the economy back in the right direction.”
Trump critics predicted the former New York businessman’s 2016 presidential run was merely a setup to start a cable TV news network.
“ ‘Trump TV’ was dismissed as a fallback for when he lost. It wasn't. It's propaganda, it's live,” Keith Olbermann, outspoken political commentator and host of GQ’s webcast “The Resistance with Keith Olbermann,” tweeted Sunday.
Mike McFaul, a U.S. ambassador to Russia in the former Obama administration, on Sunday tweeted: “Wow. Feels eerily like so many state-owned channels I've watched in other countries.”
Though critics argue the videos resemble state-run television, they begin with the “Trump Pence Make America Great Again” campaign logo. And the set backdrop is inscribed with DonaldJTrump.com -- the re-election campaign site.
This is not the first time that Trump has used social media to sidestep the mainstream media and take his message directly to voters.
The first-time elected official frequently uses Twitter to put out information and dismiss unfavorable stories and the news outlets that publish them.
Trump has more than 35 million Twitter followers, and his Facebook page has nearly 24 million followers.
“The Fake News Media will not talk about the importance of the United Nations Security Council's 15-0 vote in favor of sanctions on N. Korea!,” Trump tweeted Monday.