Donald Trump wanted to set up a two-hour talk radio phone-in show with him as the star to answer people’s coronavirus questions and only dropped the idea because it would clash with Rush Limbaugh
- President Donald Trump proposed in early March that he begin hosting a talk radio show from the White House in the midst of the coronavirus crisis
- The show would run for two hours every day and Americans would be able to call-in, unscreened, and ask him direct questions about the pandemic
- Three White House officials present at the meeting said he only ditched the idea after realizing it would conflict with conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh
- ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show’ has been for decades the most popular talk radio show in the country and draws an average of 15.5 million listeners a week
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
Donald Trump proposed on a Saturday in early March that he begin hosting a talk radio show so Americans could pose direct questions to the president about the growing coronavirus outbreak – but he ditch the idea after realizing it would compete with conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh’s show.
The show would not screen any of the calls, instead serving as an open line for concerned Americans to speak directly to the president about the coronavirus pandemic, three White House officials who heard the pitch told The New York Times.
Trump’s idea to start a White House talk radio show came before he announced a ban on European travel.
He quickly outlined to those in the room, however, that he wouldn’t go forward with the proposal since it would conflict with ‘The Rush Limbaugh Show,’ which he reiterated several times was the only reason he was against the idea.
Two of the officials said no one present knew how to respond to Trump’s idea – but one suggested hosting the show in the mornings or on weekends so the president’s wouldn’t be encroaching on Limbaugh’s territory.
But Trump insisted if he were hosting the show it would have to be for two hours every single day.
Donald Trump proposed in March that he begin hosting a two-hour daily talk radio show from the White House where Americans could call-in, unscreened, and ask him direct questions about the coronavirus pandemic
Three White House officials present at the meeting said Trump only ditched the idea after realizing it would conflict with conservative talk show host Rush Limbaugh’s (pictured) show
Limbaugh is one of Trump’s favorite media figures, rivaling even some of Fox News’ most prominent favorites like Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity.
Sources told the Times that the president has come to appreciate Limbaugh even more during the coronavirus pandemic as he offers real-time reactions to how Trump’s decisions play with his supporters.
Trump invited Limbaugh as one of his guests to his State of the Union address earlier this year after the radio host was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer.
At the annual event, Limbaugh sat next to first lady Melania Trump in the House gallery and was surprised during the event when he was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, which Melania personally donned around his neck.
The conservatives show has been the most popular talk radio show in the country for decades – and Limbaugh currently draws an average of 15.5 million listeners a week.
‘Rush is perfectly confident and competent to play the outsider to the system,’ White House Counselor Kellyanne Conway said, according to the Times. ‘In that way, he and the president learn from each other.’
Trump holds nearly-daily press briefings at the White House on the ever-developing coronavirus pandemic.
Limbaugh is a frequent golf-buddy of Trump’s and is one of his favorite media personalities
He invited Limbaugh, who was diagnosed with advanced stage lung cancer, as one of his guests to the State of the Union address earlier this year and awarded him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom
The briefings sometimes span more than two hours, but there Trump and his coronavirus task force are only taking questions from reporters and not from the American people – and Trump wanted the ability to have a more direct-line of communication with supporters.
An official involved in the conversation with the president that Saturday in early March said this wasn’t the first time Trump has discussed starting a White House radio show.
Despite dropping the proposal, Trump felt his best chance to communicate directly with the American people was through a radio show since there are no campaign rallies to look forward to with lockdowns, stay-at-home orders and social distancing guidelines in place.
The president says he is aiming to reopen the country May 1.