Presidential Twitter Insanity, January 2, 2018 – January 8, 2018

The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to (a) call for an aide to his former presidential rival to be jailed; (b) claim that companies are giving their employees bonuses because of the recent tax bill; (c) continue to use epithets such as “Crooked Hillary,” “Sloppy Steve,” and “Rocket Man” to describe foreign and domestic rivals; (d) claim credit for the fact that there were zero deaths in commercial aviation in 2017 (in fact, there have been no deaths in U.S. commercial aviation since 2009); (e) maintain the myth that the New York Times apologized for its coverage of his campaign in 2016 (it did not); (f) compare the size of his nuclear button to Kim Jong Un’s nuclear button (take that as you will); (g) announce, and later postpone, a “MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR”; (h) complain that the states refused to hand over confidential voter data because “they know that many people are voting illegally”; (i) take credit for talks between North and South Korea after his nuclear-button-size tweet; (j) tweet multiple times about a book featuring several unflattering direct quotes about him from members of his administration, thus ensuring it higher sales and more attention; (k) claim that collusion with Russia “is proving to be a total hoax” (the investigation has so far yielded two indictments and two guilty pleas); (l) attack a former member of his administration who appears to have cooperated with the aforementioned book; and (m) claim that “my two greatest assets have been mental stability and being, like, really smart” and anointing himself “a very stable genius.”

Source: the Presidential Twitter feed. Scroll to the appropriate dates.

Trump and Sessions and Obstruction of Justice, January 5, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the president, as reported by the New York Times, to expect legal protection from the Attorney General. It is NOT NORMAL for the president to plaintively request “my Roy Cohn.” It is NOT NORMAL for an aide to the Attorney General to actively seek damaging information on the then-director of the FBI, citing a goal of one negative story per day. Finally, it is NOT NORMAL for a White House lawyer to attempt to mislead the president about the feasibility of firing the then-director of the FBI in hopes of preventing an act he believed would be obstruction of justice.

Source: the New York Times.

Trump Nominating Giuliani Crony as U.S. Attorney, January 3, 2018

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to personally interview and handpick a political ally for the United States Attorney job in New York. Typically, the president is not involved with the interview process for such positions. This is particularly alarming because the president, his businesses, and members of his family may be under investigation by this attorney.

Update: a New York Senator has announced that she will use her “blue-slip prerogative” to attempt to block this nomination.

Sources: Time, The Hill.

Presidential Twitter Insanity, December 26, 2017 – December 31, 2017

The presidential Twitter feed continues to be NOT NORMAL. To be specific, this week it was NOT NORMAL for the president to (a) wish “enemies, haters, and even the very dishonest Fake News Media” a happy new year; (b) question why “smart voters” would elect Democrats to Congress; (c) continue to call his presidential opponent and the former Secretary of State “Crooked Hillary”; (d) accuse the media of using “Phony and non-existent sources”; (e) complain that the United States Post Office does not charge Amazon enough; (f) falsely claim that his approval rating is the same as former president Obama’s at the same point in their presidencies; (g) argue that the current cold snap disproves global warming; and (h) attack a magazine for posting a list of satirical resolutions for his presidential opponent, while simultaneously insulting her. In addition, given the tense situation in Iran, one wishes the president would not insist upon conducting foreign policy via social media.

Source: the Presidential Twitter feed. Scroll to the appropriate dates.

Trump International Hotel in Washington D.C., December 28, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to continue to be involved with his private businesses, specifically the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D. C. According to the director of revenue management for the hotel, ” . . . he’s definitely still involved. . . . he was asking about banquet revenues and demographics. And, he asked if his presidency hurt the businesses.”

Source: the Daily Beast.


Presidential Twitter Meltdowns, December 24, 2017

It is NOT NORMAL for the president to (a) repeatedly attack the deputy director of the FBI, who reportedly backed up the testimony of the former FBI director when testifying before the House Intelligence Committee; (b) falsely insist that Republicans are 5-0 in congressional special elections; (c) complain about “Fake News” and “Fake Polls”; and (d) retweet a meme by a white supremacist that shows him having squashed CNN with his shoe. By way of contrast, the previous president’s Christmas weekend tweet was “The best part of the holidays is the time we share with those we love. On behalf of Michelle, Malia, and Sasha, Merry Christmas everyone.” (Among other things, this demonstrates that it was not, in fact, illegal or considered at all inappropriate to say “Merry Christmas” before the current president took office.)

Source: the Presidential Twitter feed.