Is Donald Trump just running for president in order to set up a media company?
That's some people seem to believe after Financial Times reported Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, approached LionTree Advisors Chief Executive Aryeh Bourkoff about establishing a TV network -- "Trump TV" -- after the election is over.
Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump and owns the New York Observer, reportedly declined to comment on this report.
But this isn't the first time it's been reported the Republican presidential nominee is planning on setting up a media business.
In June, Sarah Ellison of Vanity Fair wrote an article, "EXCLUSIVE: IS DONALD TRUMP'S ENDGAME THE LAUNCH OF TRUMP NEWS?," which said,
The breakout media star of 2016 is, inarguably, Donald Trump, who has masterfully—and horrifyingly—demonstrated an aptitude for manipulating the news cycle, gaining billions of dollars worth of free airtime, and dominating coverage on every screen. Now, several people around him are looking for a way to leverage his supporters into a new media platform and cable channel. Trump is indeed considering creating his own media business, built on the audience that has supported him thus far in his bid to become the next president of the United States.
The real estate mogul has vehemently denied any of these reports, and told the Washington Post in September,
I want to win the presidency, and I want to make America great again. It's very simple. I have no interest in a media company. False rumor.
Trump has spent his entire adult life building his personal brand.
So, despite his objections, it's not hard to believe he'd want to set up a TV network.
Throughout the election cycle, Trump has made a habit of criticizing the media, including some conservative outlets.
He frequently describes the media as "rigged," especially as we've drawn closer to Election Day.
With millions of loyal supporters who distrust the institutions Trump habitually rants against, it's not an entirely implausible idea for him to set up a TV network if he ends up losing the election.
A recent Gallup poll showed the public's trust of the media is at a historic low, especially among Republicans.
Trump recently took credit for the public's distrust of the media. Referencing this recent Gallup poll, Trump said,
I think I had a lot to do with that poll … because I've exposed the media. If you look at The New York Times, and The Washington Post, and if you look at others: the level of dishonesty is enormous. It's so dishonest. I can do something that's wonderful and they make it sound terrible.
It's possible Trump would want to capitalize on this distrust in the wake of the election.
There's also the fact that Trump has surrounded his campaign with people associated with various media outlets.
His campaign CEO is Stephen Bannon, who is on leave from serving as the executive chairman for Breitbart, a right-wing news site.
Trump also has close ties with Roger Ailes, the controversial former head of Fox News.
At this point, it's looking more and more like Hillary Clinton is going to win, as she's eight points ahead of Trump in CNN's new "poll of polls."
Perhaps setting up a TV network is the most logical thing for Trump to do if he ends up losing, given his campaign has dominated media coverage throughout the election cycle.
Regardless of how you feel about the guy, he has an undeniable talent for keeping people's attention and generating headlines.
Then again, we can't definitively say this is what Trump really wants to do, nor can we fully predict who will ultimately win the election.
But with about three weeks left until Election Day, we will certainly know soon enough.