Donald Trump launches nightly show over Facebook Live to skirt 'media filter'

US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking to supporters at a rally in Tampa, Florida, on Oct 24, 2016.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaking to supporters at a rally in Tampa, Florida, on Oct 24, 2016. PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Billionaire Donald Trump's campaign has launched a nightly show on Facebook Live aiming to bypass "the media filter", as White House hopefuls sprint the final leg of a caustic race.

Broadcasting from New York's Trump Tower via the Republican candidate's Facebook page, the show dubbed Trump Tower Live premiered on Monday (Oct 24), and is expected to air every evening until the Nov 8 vote.

"This is just an effort by us to reach out to you guys," said Trump adviser and co-host Cliff Sims. "You don't have to take it through the media filter and all the spin that they put on it - you can hear it from us directly."

Set in what the hosts called the "Trump campaign war room", the show mimicked the look and feel of a cable news broadcast, though with lower production values.

The hosts and their "guests" - including Mr Trump's campaign manager and a Republican chief communications strategist - crowded around a small desk set against a backdrop of boxes, loose papers, campaign workers and a large portrait of the real estate magnate.

 

After a discussion surrounding the Hillary Clinton e-mail controversy and an interview with a conservative commentator, the show cut to a livestream from a Trump rally in key battleground state Florida.

By late on Monday night, the broadcast had more than 1.3 million views on Facebook.

The "live" show comes amid chatter that the bombastic billionaire is looking to start his own media company should his presidential bid fail - reports Mr Trump has brushed off.

The Republican candidate has repeatedly attacked media outlets as "corrupt" for participating in what he calls a vast conspiracy to "rig" the election in favour of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.

"The media isn't just against me," Mr Trump told cheering supporters at a St Augustine, Florida rally on Monday. "They're against what we represent."

The broadcast is set to air live each night at 6.30pm Eastern Daylight Time (6.30am Singapore time), running up against US network television news.