Donald Trump’s tweeting is a source of endless nightmares for Republicans and White House staff. They can try to sugarcoat anything Trump does, but it’s hard to put a positive spin on the ramblings of a clearly troubled man. A typical Trump tweet shot off in the early morning may, say, contradict an official statement. Or prove a White House talking point is a lie. Or contain basic grammar and spelling mistakes. And some have even been used in court to rule against the White House’s attempted Muslim ban.
Adding to that, Trump’s tweets are a visual, daily reminder that our president is, at his heart, a complete moron. Take this classic two-piece of idiocy, for example:
First Trump proudly announces he plans on creating a cyber team with the country that hacked America’s last presidential election.
Putin & I discussed forming an impenetrable Cyber Security unit so that election hacking, & many other negative things, will be guarded..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2017
Hours later, he screams that it isn’t happening after Americans of all political stripes pointed out how stupid the idea was.
The fact that President Putin and I discussed a Cyber Security unit doesn’t mean I think it can happen. It can’t-but a ceasefire can,& did!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2017
His staff has privately told reporters that they spend a great deal of their time at the White House trying to find ways to get Trump to stop binge-watching Fox News and tweeting about whatever comes up on his favorite show, Fox and Friends. The struggle has, at times, descended into sheer lunacy. During one of Trump’s latest Twitter meltdowns, a despondent aide sent a reporter a simple message:
Informed of the president’s denial that he had recorded his conversations with Comey, a senior administration official replied, “At least that’s behind us.” When alerted to his apparent suspicions of Oval Office surveillance, the official replied in a text message, “fml.”That’s shorthand for “fuck my life.”
What does Trump think about these attempts to save him from himself? It makes him angry.
New York Times reporter Mark Leibovich filed a lengthy piece with a simple premise: The White House is a total-and-unending shitshow and Trump is at the epicenter. Leibovich was, in fact, in the room, when the idea of Trump’s Twitter self-sabotage was brought up to the president. Trump’s reaction speaks volumes.
It was 12:30, but the president was not eating lunch. He was watching a recording of ‘‘Fox and Friends’’ from about four hours earlier on a large TV mounted on the wall. This was one of those stretches when Trump was tweeting a lot, including attacks on the mayor of London following a terrorist attack on the city the previous weekend. The tweets were becoming a growing topic of concern among Republicans, many of whom were urging him to stop. But like most reporters, I found his tweets far more illuminating than anything the White House press office could ever disgorge. I urged him to keep it up.
Trump assured me that he would keep tweeting. ‘‘It’s my voice,’’ Trump said of Twitter, enumerating how many millions of followers he had. ‘‘They want to take away my voice,’’ Trump said. ‘‘They’re not going to take away my social media.’’
In just two paragraphs, Leibovich documented Trump’s insane Fox News viewing habits, the well-known patent dishonesty of the White House press office, and Trump’s own spoiled brat way of looking at his Twitter habits. It takes Stephen King an entire novel to write anything half as scary as that snapshot of the man who currently controls America’s nuclear arsenal.
Featured image via Matt Cardy/Getty Images