Now for the 'Real News': Trump TV presents the news on Facebook

Kayleigh McEnany said she was speaking from Trump Tower , and in 90 seconds ran through a series of positive stories about the president.
Kayleigh McEnany said she was speaking from Trump Tower , and in 90 seconds ran through a series of positive stories about the president.PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM FACEBOOK/DONALD J. TRUMP

WASHINGTON - US president Donald Trump often slams his country's media for producing "fake news," so he's decided to make his own.

A bulletin titled "Real News" has made its second appearance on Mr Trump's Facebook page, detailing all the successes the White House believes were overlooked the previous week.

The prototype debuted last month, featuring the president's daughter-in-law, Lara Trump, presenting an update on the president's accomplishments.

On Sunday (Aug 6), episode two appeared and showed signs of settling in to a permanent format: the presenter was former CNN pro-Trump commentator Kayleigh McEnany, who revealed on Monday that she had been appointed a Republican National Committee (RNC) spokesman. Also new were over-the-shoulder graphics and headlines, just like a regular American nightly news.

Ms McEnany said she was speaking from Trump Tower , and in 90 seconds ran through a series of positive stories about the president, seated in front of a blue Trump-Pence themed wall reminiscent of election campaign backgrounds.

"Overall, since the president took office, President Trump has created more than 1 million new jobs, the unemployment rate is at a 16-year low, and consumer confidence is at a 16-year high - all while the Dow Jones continues to break records. President Trump has clearly steered the economy back in the right direction," she said.

But the Chicago Tribune said on Monday that although the claims were legitimate, the report took some liberties, as the jobs picture has largely continued the trends from late in the Obama administration.

The main points of both episodes so far has been jobs, the administration's crackdowns on criminal gangs and the president's donation of his salary.

"This tactic isn't new," another RNC spokesman Ryan Mahoney told NBC News. "Campaigns use video to get their message out all the time."

NBC said other US lawmakers also often employ similar techniques, including former Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders, who has a talk show on Facebook Live.

The Huffington Post observed that Ms McEnany made no mention of controversies embroiling the president, such as Russia, grand juries, going on holiday when you promised you wouldn't, or inventing phone calls from the Mexican president or American Boy Scout leaders.

What has been labelled by the US mainstream media as "Trump TV" was shared with more than 22 million Facebook page followers and on Twitter soon after its debut, according to NBC News, which added that Mr Trump's presidential campaign committee is listed as having paid for the production.

Former Obama-era US Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted that the video felt like "state-owned channels," such as might have been done in Nazi Germany.

"When a government starts reporting and phrasing things as real news, that's the time to worry that you're being lied to," said Robert Shapiro, a Columbia University government and politics professor told NBC.

And, a review on the Slate website focuses on Ms McEnany, calling her appearance "a biting anti-Trump comedy sketch that rivals anything Saturday Night Live could dream up".