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Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

President Trump has told friends he wants to start a digital media company to clobber Fox News and undermine the conservative-friendly network, sources tell Axios.

The state of play: Some Trump advisers think Fox News made a mistake with an early call (seconded by AP) of President-elect Biden's win in Arizona. That enraged Trump, and gave him something tangible to use in his attacks on the network.

  • "He plans to wreck Fox. No doubt about it," said a source with detailed knowledge of Trump's intentions.

With loyal viewers and longtime dominance, Fox Corp. CEO Lachlan Murdoch said on a Nov. 3 earnings call:

  • "We love competition. We have always thrived with competition. ... Fox News has been the number one network, including broadcast networks, ... from Labor Day through to Election Day."

Here's Trump's plan, according to the source:

  • There's been lots of speculation about Trump starting a cable channel. But getting carried on cable systems would be expensive and time-consuming.
  • Instead, Trump is considering a digital media channel that would stream online, which would be cheaper and quicker to start.
  • Trump's digital offering would likely charge a monthly fee to MAGA fans. Many are Fox News viewers, and he'd aim to replace the network — and the $5.99-a-month Fox Nation streaming service, which has an 85% conversion rate from free trials to paid subscribers — as their top destination.

Trump's database of email and cellphone contacts would be a huge head start.

  • Trump's lists are among the most valuable in politics — especially his extensive database of cellphone numbers for text messages.

Axios is told Trump may use vote-count rallies to undercut Fox.

  • "He's going to spend a lot of time slamming Fox," the source said.

Trump has increasingly complained that Fox News interviews more Democrats than it used to. He has needled the network by promoting other conservative outlets, including One America News and Newsmax.

  • "Fox has changed a lot," Trump said during the most recent interview he has given anywhere, with "Fox & Friends" on Election Day. "Somebody said: What's the biggest difference between this and four years ago? And I say Fox."
  • "I'm not complaining — I'm just telling people," Trump added. "It's one of the biggest differences this season compared to last."
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Go deeper

Trump campaign, RNC have raised $207.5 million since Election Day

Photo: Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty

The Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee said Thursday they have hauled in $207.5 million since Election Day.

Why it matters: The funds have been largely raised through President Trump's baseless claims of widespread voter fraud. Trump has refused to concede to President-elect Joe Biden. His campaign's slew of lawsuits and recount efforts have seen little success.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
7 hours ago - Technology

TikTok gets more time (again)

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

The White House is again giving TikTok's Chinese parent company more to satisfy national security concerns, rather than initiating legal action, a source familiar with the situation tells Axios.

The state of play: China's ByteDance had until Friday to resolve issues raised by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. (CFIUS), which is chaired by Treasury secretary Steve Mnuchin. This was the company's third deadline, with CFIUS having provided two earlier extensions.

Federal judge orders Trump administration to restore DACA

DACA recipients and their supporters rally outside the U.S. Supreme Court on June 18. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty

A federal judge on Friday ordered the Trump administration to fully restore the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, giving undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children a chance to petition for protection from deportation.

Why it matters: DACA was implemented under former President Obama, but President Trump has sought to undo the program since taking office. Friday’s ruling will require Department of Homeland Security officers to begin accepting applications starting Monday and guarantee that work permits are valid for two years.