David Brock, the Democratic operative who founded the left-wing Media Matters for America, plans to use a news entity he recently purchased as the nucleus of his efforts to delegitimize President Donald Trump, according to confidential documents obtained by the Washington Free Beacon.
Brock spent this past weekend gathered with more than 100 deep-pocketed Democratic donors at the posh Turnberry Isle resort in Aventura, Fla., to map out a course to "kick Donald Trump's ass." The Free Beacon obtained the memo at the donor retreat.
The 44-page confidential memo shows how Brock seeks to defeat Trump through impeachment by using American Bridge, his Super PAC, as the primary vehicle.
Brock will also use Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) to push litigation against Trump and his administration. The group filed two lawsuits last weekend hitting Trump over his alleged violation of a constitutional conflict-of-interest provision.
Shareblue, formerly called BlueNationRising, was purchased by Brock in 2015 and rebranded the following year. The confidential memo shows how Brock plans to use Shareblue as the "nucleus" to disseminate information to the public to damage Trump and his allies.
"We will delegitimize Donald Trump's presidency by emboldening the opposition and empowering the majority of Americans who oppose him," the memo states. "Shareblue will be the dynamic nucleus of a multi-platform media company that informs, engages, and arms Americans to fight."
"Shareblue is positioned to frame opposition research from American Bridge and other progressive groups, as well as leaks and intel from Democrats on House and Senate committees, in our signature punchy, emotive style—and disseminate it directly to our followers in a daily inline persuasion campaign."
The Washington Free Beacon, along with Breitbart, were singled out as "online smear merchants" who have been cited by numerous Republican campaigns and candidates this past election cycle—success he hopes to emulate in the form of damaging Trump supporters in upcoming elections.
Brock wants to use Shareblue as a means to "expose Trump allies and collaborators" by having their stories repeated in Democratic communications and political ads.
"The right has done this effectively (though deceptively) for years. They have brought down progressive organizations and damaged Democrats," the memo says. "In addition, there have been an influx of Republican campaigns and candidates citing bogus news stories from online smear merchants such as the Washington Free Beacon or Breitbart in political ads and communication."
"Now, we can use our own social media platform to both weaponize oppo research and perfect its delivery system to expose Trump and his allies and collaborators, and to damage Trump. We will aim to have our factual news stories repeated in Democratic communications and paid political ads."
The group's editorial priorities include exposing Trump as a "weak, thin skinned 'loser,'" keeping focus on Trump's "conflicts of interests," and propping up Republicans who veer from Trump's positions.
Shareblue's full editorial priorities are listed as the following:
- Calling out signs of authoritarianism and kleptocracy. Championing voices who have been right to warns us.
- Nonstop coverage of the influence of Vladimir Putin and Russia on Trump and his administration.
- Exposing Trump as a weak, thin-skinned "loser" vulnerable to goading.
- Relentlessly beating the drum that he has no mandate, lost the popular vote, and is the least popular president-elect in modern American history.
- Exposing the insidious role of Mike Pence, who is replicating the right-wing governance ideology he inflicted in Indiana.
- Demystifying Trump's "conflicts of interest" and calling them what they are: Subversions of the nation's interests.
- Spotlighting the Trump administration's vast ties to white nationalists and the ways in which they explicitly empower white supremacy.
- Tracking and fighting back against odious GOP legislation in Congress.
- Following SCOTUS nominations/appointments/major cases.
- Morale-boosting coverage of the grassroots opposition and resistance efforts outside the beltway.
- Positive coverage of Democrats who boldly call out Trump and aggressively work against him. Pressure of Democrats who hold him accountable.
- Fighting outrage fatigue.
The group says that articles are often shared more than 10,000 times apiece with average daily impressions of 2.1 million. Since July 1, 2016, users saw Shareblue posts 323 million times, which was a 50 percent increase from the first half of 2016, the memo says.
Brock also wants to focus on funding investigative journalism projects to dig for dirt on the newly sworn in president.
The American Independent Institute, which was taken over by Brock in 2014, will closely work alongside Shareblue, the memo states. The American Independent will award grants to "top investigative journalists to cover, expose and damage the Trump administration and its allies."
The memo lists three previous "victories" achieved by the American Independent including a 2014 Rolling Stone profile on the rise of Larry Pratt, executive director of Gun Owners of America, which the groups says earned 570,000 unique visitors and three million page views. The piece ultimately led to follow-up articles from outlets such as the New York Daily News and Roll Call.
Shareblue has a 2017 budget set at $2 million, which covers a staff of 18, including six full-time content producers. The group will bring in an executive editor and increase their freelance writers budget by 50 percent. Shareblue will re-build their video content program with a part-time producer and optimize their social media presence with a digital manager.
The group wants to become the go-to news outlet for grassroots Trump opponents and the de-facto news outlet for opposition leaders. They also want to force Trump allies to step down or change course due to news pushed by the group and force Democrats to take a more aggressive stance against Trump.
Brock hopes that his donor retreat this past weekend will lead to a liberal network that can rival that of the Koch brothers.