Trump: Tax reform pitch will focus on 'very honorable' regional media

Trump: Tax reform pitch will focus on 'very honorable' regional media
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President Trump said Thursday his Cabinet will be "talking directly to taxpayers and focusing on the regional media" in pitching the newly unveiled GOP tax-reform plan.

"While I’m in Asia, members of the Cabinet will be traveling around the country, talking directly to taxpayers and focusing on the regional media, which I actually find to be very, very honorable media," Trump said, though he didn’t specify exactly what he meant by "regional media."

"We do very nicely with regional. I love regional media," he added during a meeting with Republican House leaders. 

Trump is scheduled to leave Friday for a 12-day trip to the Asia-Pacific region, including stops in Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

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Trump made similar comments to reporters on Tuesday from the Roosevelt Room when talking about selling the tax plan

Cabinet officials will be “focusing on the regional media, which we find to be a much more credible media, to be honest with you. In fact, I found it to be incredible how good they are," he said on Oct. 31. 

House leadership on Thursday unveiled its long-awaited tax-reform plan, a key legislative goal that Republicans hope to have on Trump’s desk before the end of the year.

Regional media from the president's perspective could include the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcasting, which is the largest U.S. television-station owner with 154 stations nationwide. 

If a pending $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Broadcasting is approved by the Federal Communications Commission, that number would exceed 220 stations, reaching 72 percent of households across the country.

Critics against the merger say such a media giant could potentially harm the public by significantly consolidating the local news market, where both Sinclair and Tribune own big stakes.

Boris Epshteyn, a former communications aide to Trump and a surrogate for him during the campaign, joined Sinclair as a political analyst in April.