Trump Tweets That Hogged Headlines in Year 1 of His Presidency
It’s the anniversary of the US President’s inauguration, so here’s a recap of the tweets that made headlines.
The Twitter President, as Donald Trump is sometimes called, seems to be in no mood to part with the title. It’s the anniversary of the US President’s inauguration, and every week has brought a new scandal, controversy, or just plain noteworthy proclamation. Who can even remember all the things he tweeted that made news so far?
We can. Here we go.
Trump Not Takin’ Sh*t From North Korea, Nuclear Apocalypse Be Damned
One thing a lot of Americans (and people of the world) wish Trump would stop tweeting about, is North Korea. Not because of any love for that country... but simply because Trump’s antagonistic words challenging the leader of nuclear power – who is believed to be volatile and unpredictable – to war, is legitimately scary. This year, Trump couldn’t wait long before going on the offensive.
But thankfully, he decided to keep his finger off that ‘Button’ for a little while longer and indulge in ‘dialogue’.
One can only hope this new development would mean fewer tweets by the US President issuing death threats to the leader of an isolated regime with nuclear weapons.
Trump’s Feud with CNN (and Media)
Trump’s ongoing rivalry with the media has rung alarm bells across America. While the media’s role is to hold the government of the day to account, it appears Trump has taken its coverage of him very personally, and seems to have a particular grouse with CNN.
This tweet of the ‘Trump Train’ hitting CNN was retweeted by the US President just days after a woman was killed by a speeding car during the Charlottesville riots in August 2017. Needless to say, it didn’t go down well and he deleted it soon after.
Last July, Trump had tweeted another video of Trump attacking the owner of WWE, except the owner’s head was replaced with a ‘CNN’ sign. Hilarious? Yes. But in a I-can’t-believe-he-just-did-that kind of way.
And in October 2017, he tweeted a veiled threat to journalists and news channels everywhere, slamming their coverage and suggesting that their licenses be revoked. If that’s not a shot across the bow, what is?
Trump then seemed to be extending an olive branch to a section of the media this year.
Or did we speak too soon?
Time’s Up for Pakistan?
In the first week of January, Trump turned his attention towards Pakistan. Making it clear that there won’t be anymore US aid coming their way. But is this another one of his empty threats?
The US President now also has his eyes on Palestine and ‘other’ countries.
What’s a Covfefe?
Nettled by (what we assume is) negative press ‘coverage’, Trump tweeted something in March that sent everyone into a virtual meltdown. Media covered it, conspiracy theories were hatched – “Is it a secret message? A dog-whistle of some kind?!’’ No, guys. Just a horrible typo.
Proof that anything a President tweets will probably make news.
Typos May Be Forgivable, but Misspellings?
You could argue that covfefe was blown out of proportion, it’s a simple typo after all. But typos aren’t the only self-own in the US President’s arsenal... he has also tweeted misspellings on a number of occasions, most of which were quickly deleted (but the internet remembers).
There’s nothing inherently wrong with misspelling words... but one would expect the leader of a country to exercise more caution and maybe use spellcheck or something, right?
When ‘Wiretap’ Became the New ‘Birth Certificate’
Trump rose to political prominence when he took the lead in the ‘birther’ movement, a Republican agitation based on the belief that Obama was an illegitimate president because he “wasn’t born in America”. The charge was that he was born in Kenya to a Muslim family, and Trump was at the forefront of demands that he release his original birth certificate to prove he’s a natural-born citizen. That fizzled out before Trump became president, but he did replace it with a new conspiracy theory: the ‘wiretap’. In March 2017, he released a volley of tweets making the claim.
Now, accusing your predecessor of illegal wiretap is a pretty explosive claim. But when Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s erstwhile campaign manager, spoke about the claims in an interview with local news site North Jersey, she said:
What I can say is there are many ways to surveil each other. You can surveil someone through their phones, certainly through their television sets – any number of different ways. Surveillance could be conducted with microwaves that turn into cameras. We know this is a fact of modern life.
That... settles that?
Maybe Right After a Terror Attack Isn’t the Best Time...?
In June 2017, in one of his most roundly condemned tweets, Trump publicly undermined London’s mayor just hours after the city witnessed a terror attack that left eight people dead. Incredibly, while Sadiq Khan was attempting to maintain calm in his grieving city, Trump felt the need to get a jibe in.
Anyone’s Fair Game, but Women Especially
In a pointed attack on morning show anchors Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski after they criticised him in June, Trump dubbed them ‘Psycho Joe’ and ‘Crazy Mika’, and attempted to humiliate the latter by adding an irrelevant mention of her alleged facelift. Trump has a well-documented record of attempting to humiliate women with insults about their appearance and age (like comedian Rosie O'Donnell, former beauty pageant winner Alicia Machado, and more).
Trump VS the NFL
Earlier in 2017, NFL players began “taking the knee” while the national anthem was played at the beginning of their games to protest police brutality against black men. So obviously, for the months of September and October, Trump took to Twitter accusing the players and the teams in support of them of being un-patriotic and un-American, and calling for the NFL to force them to stand for the anthem. Sound familiar?
With the country riled up over police brutality taking the lives of black American citizens, for the President to deny that the protest was about race – when every person who knelt said it was about state violence towards a certain race – came off as tone-deaf at best and racist at worst.
Don’t Panic, Don’t Panic...
With FBI Director Robert Mueller dogging his campaign, his staffers, and perhaps even him over Russia ties, Trump evidently couldn’t take the heat. At the end of October last year, he tweet-shouted a desperate plea to whoever was listening, to look into alleged crimes by the Democrats and Clinton instead. It was widely regarded as an indication that the investigation was starting to get to the President.
At the end of a year of Donald Trump’s presidency, America appears to have emerged a little shell-shocked, dishevelled, and slightly worse for wear. But we have also seen an evolution in the way a national leader can interact with citizens, bypassing the media. Social media has enabled a new kind of leadership, as Trump already knows.
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