A Monday report from Vanity Fair claims that President Donald Trump is aiming to “take down” Fox News for what he perceives as disloyalty to his administration. According to the report, sources claim that an investor group — Hicks Equity Partners — linked to Donald Trump Jr. and Tommy Hicks’ Dallas-based family has purchased a stake in One America News Network (OANN), which has recently been gaining the president’s attention over Fox News.
“This is all about building a Fox competitor,” a person familiar with the deal reportedly said.
“Trump is really aiming to take down Fox.”
The report claims that Trump views himself as responsible for Fox News’ success and credits their ratings to his presence.
“At the end of day, Trump thinks he owns Fox. He thinks he made them,” a Republican who discussed the network with Trump allegedly said.
Vanity Fair claims the deal sold for approximately $200 million, although the nature of how the transaction was funded is not clear.
“The infusion of cash will allow OANN to improve production values and expand its modest distribution of 35 million homes,” the report reads.
Amid reports of the deal, Trump has been increasingly promoting OANN. In a recent tweet, he praised the network as “Great News, not Fake News.” According to Vanity Fair, Trump’s reported shift to OANN is both a “tactical weapon” for his 2020 campaign and a “strategic hedge” to provide him with an outlet for coverage post-November, should he win reelection. The same source claimed that even if Trump loses in November, investment in OANN means he can use the network to remain in the public eye.
As reported by The Guardian, Trump has lashed out at Fox News with increasing frequency in recent months. In a recent tweet, he attacked the network for promoting Democratic narratives.
“[Fox News] just doesn’t get what’s happening! They are being fed Democrat talking points, and they play them without hesitation or research.”
Trump also attacked Democratic strategist Donna Brazile, who is a contributor to the massive conservative network.
“The people who are watching @FoxNews, in record numbers (thank you President Trump), are angry,” Trump tweeted before claiming that he and others want an alternative.
The conservative OANN is home to well-known conservative figures like political activist and network correspondent Jack Posobiec and reporter Chanel Rion, the latter who has gained attention for her recent appearances at the president’s coronavirus press briefings. The network was notably the first to carry Trump’s live campaign speeches in full during the 2016 presidential election.