Sinclair chief to Trump in 2016: 'We are here to deliver your message'

Sinclair chief to Trump in 2016: 'We are here to deliver your message'
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The chairman of Sinclair Broadcast Group reportedly told President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump nominates ambassador to Turkey Trump heads to Mar-a-Lago after signing bill to avert shutdown CNN, MSNBC to air ad turned down by Fox over Nazi imagery MORE during the 2016 campaign that the company was there "to deliver" his message.

The Guardian reported that David Smith met with Trump after he won the GOP presidential nomination in 2016.

“I asked [Trump], ‘Would you like us to embed with you during your campaign?’,” Smith told the Guardian.


“And he brought a bunch of people in the room, and he said, ‘Well, whatever’. And I said: ‘We are here to deliver your message. Period.’”

Smith told the Guardian the comments signaled that Trump could be interviewed by Sinclair whenever he wanted — not that the company was biased in his favor.

He added that he made similar comments to former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonOvernight Defense: Trump declares border emergency | .6B in military construction funds to be used for wall | Trump believes Obama would have started war with North Korea | Pentagon delivers aid for Venezuelan migrants Sarah Sanders says she was interviewed by Mueller's office Trump: I believe Obama would have gone to war with North Korea MORE via a letter.

“What I get out of it is access to a guy who’s running for president,” Smith said.

“Or a guy who’s running for U.S. senator, or governor, or anything else. As any other news organization does. You want to be on TV? Sure, we’d like to have you on TV.”

Smith has met with Trump at the White House as part of an effort to discuss a product that would give authorities the ability to broadcast directly to peoples' phones.

Sinclair has been facing criticism in recent days after Deadspin compiled clips of network anchors across the country reading the same mandated script condemning "fake news" and biased reporting by national news outlets.

Critics have slammed the segment, saying it disparages the media.

Sinclair officials have defended the promo, with an executive saying the decision to air the promo was part of the company's "commitment to our communities." The executive said the promo was "focused on fact-based reporting" and a "well-researched journalistic initiative."

Trump also weighed in on the debate earlier this month, defending Sinclair.

"So funny to watch Fake News Networks, among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with, criticize Sinclair Broadcasting for being biased. Sinclair is far superior to CNN and even more Fake NBC, which is a total joke," he tweeted.