President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign has been producing news-style videos featuring numerous media figures, including commentators for CNN and Fox News.
The president’s daughter-in-law Lara Trump has been hosting the video series “Real News,” which includes guest interviews and campaign propaganda. The videos, which are posted on the president's Facebook page and carry “paid for by Donald J. Trump for president” disclaimers, ask viewers to sign up for mobile alerts from the campaign, a list-building activity that the 2020 campaign can use to raise money and organize get-out-the vote activities.
The Hollywood Reporter’s Jeremy Barr reported on March 19 that conservative commentators and sisters Diamond and Silk appeared in a recent video with Lara Trump. Fox News attempted to distance itself from the campaign video by stating that Diamond and Silk “license short weekly videos to Fox Nation – they are not Fox News contributors or employees. When they appear on FNC and FBN, they do so as guests." That explanation contradicts Fox News’ own identifications of the two as “Fox News Channel contributors,” “Fox Nation contributors,” and “Fox Nation hosts.”
Regardless of Diamond and Silk’s employment classification, several Fox News contributors have appeared in Trump campaign videos with Lara Trump. They include Deneen Borelli, Alveda King, David Bossie, and Mike Huckabee.
CNN analysts have also appeared in Trump campaign videos despite the president’s frequent trashing of the network as “fake news.”
David Urban is a CNN commentator who previously worked as a paid consultant for Trump’s 2016 campaign. During a March Trump video appearance, the campaign identified him as the president of American Continental Group, a major lobbying firm that lobbies the Trump administration and Congress on a variety of issues. (Urban has used his CNN gig to specifically push a lobbying client and its interests without disclosing the connection to viewers.)
In that video, which did not mention his CNN role, Urban spoke like a Trump surrogate. The Republican commentator, who directed Trump's 2016 operation in Pennyslvania, said that “Pennsylvania is always a tough state to win. I predict, I'll say it here again, I think we’re going to win in 2020. It’s going to be close, but we’re going to win, the president’s going to put the time in; you know, we’re going to work hard and we’re going to win. I have no doubt that he will win in 2020 in Pennsylvania." He also lied about the Green New Deal, claiming that “you’re not going to have a car; forget, you know, no cows ever again.” (Urban’s firm does lobbying work on behalf of oil and gas interests.)
At the conclusion of the video, Lara Trump thanked Urban for “the job you do every single day out there fighting for the president. You really do an incredible job, and we are so lucky to have you.” Urban responded by saying that he loves President Trump and relayed that people tell him, “You may not hear it on the mainstream media, but we really like” the president. Urban also appeared in a June 2018 video and touted Trump ahead of the then-upcoming midterm elections.
Stephen Moore is a senior economics analyst for CNN who advises Trump (during a recent appearance, CNN described Moore as “an informal White House adviser”). He has made several appearances on Trump’s video program and promoted Trump’s economic message.
Other media commentators who have appeared in the Trump campaign’s videos include Fox 5 DC host, Daily Caller video columnist, and Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Stephanie Hamill; Talking Point USA’s Candace Owens; conservative troll Dinesh D’Souza; and Trump sycophant Bill Mitchell.