It's been a little while since there was a truly heinous or hilarious Twitter meltdown from Donald Trump, but it turns out that according to reports, Trump has started basing his decisions as president on how many likes he gets on there. Yikes.
According to Politico, Trump defended his snap call to pull American troops out of Syria - a decision which sent shockwaves through the international community, who were very jumpy about quite how well thought-through the idea was, and showed a complete lack of commitment to the American consensus that Iran and Isis ought to be kept out of the region for the foreseeable future - by pointing to how well it had done when he'd tweeted it.
After historic victories against ISIS, it’s time to bring our great young people home! pic.twitter.com/xoNjFzQFTp
- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 19, 2018
The report says that Trump was visited by concerned lawmakers, and responded by saying "get Dan Scavino in here". In walked Scavino, the man who oversees Trump's Twitter account. (Yes, someone does oversee Trump's Twitter account.) "Tell them how popular my policy is," Trump told Scavino. Scavino then ran through the positive reactions to Trump's tweet. In the end, the United States will leave around 400 of its 2,000 troops in Syria.
Altogether though, it's quite concerning if not entirely surprising that Trump (and Scavino, who met Trump when he was a 16-year-old golf caddie and has been at his side pretty much ever since) use Twitter as a flagpole up which to run headline ideas and see exactly how well they play with voters rather than bothering with actually thinking it through and all that stuff.
"Oftentimes, I’ll go through Dan," Trump told Politico of his Twitter vetting set-up. "You know, I’ll talk it over. And he can really be a very good sounding board. A lot of common sense. He’s got a good grasp."
So, is it sort of comforting that Trump's repulsive Twitter game is on some level just a calculated and disinterested means of chucking hand grenades into the discourse and seeing whose limbs go flying? No. No it isn't. It's still repulsive.
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