In recent months, the already incessant stream of tweets from President Donald Trump has only increased, although some might not have even suspected that was possible. In conversation with The New York Times, longtime Trump adviser Kellyanne Conway launched a desperate attempt at defending Trump’s tweeting habits, which have consumed so many of the major stories that have defined his presidency. Whether faced with a threat from some belligerent foreign leader or faced with the duly proceeding investigations into his well-documented suspect behavior, Trump has turned to Twitter.
‘He needs to tweet like we need to eat.’
Seriously? Conway is an adviser to the president of the United States, and she’s speaking of him like he’s some hungry animal in a cage or something. More accurately — all due respect to animals — Trump has defined himself by his incessant egomania to the point that we’ve reached this stage. Rather than considering that perhaps firing off incendiary Twitter messages that could destabilize contexts from the economy to national security might not be a good idea (to put it lightly), Trump’s tweets are just some kind of “fact of life” to him and those closest to him.
The Times analyzed the tweets that Trump has sent since taking office, and found the probably not too surprising conclusion that the majority of the time he’s taken to the platform, he’s been attacking someone or something. Out of a total of more than 11,300 tweets that they analyzed, they concluded that a full 5,889 of them — or about half — were attacking someone or something. A full 2,405 of them attacked Democrats, 2,065 were against the many investigations Trump has faced, and the list goes on from there.
Notably, one of the president’s favorite things to do on Twitter besides belittle his opponents is praise himself — although that’s probably not too much of a surprise either. The Times found that out of that total of 11,390 tweets, a full 2,026 of them were in praise of himself in some capacity.
Trump has long been outspoken about his dependence on Twitter. Just recently, during the press conference convened to announce the death of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, Trump veered into praise for his supposed personal Twitter prowess.
He told those assembled, discussing al-Baghdadi’s group:
‘They use the internet better than almost anybody in the world. Perhaps other than Donald Trump.’
At an earlier White House conference featuring social media personalities, Trump proudly proclaimed, discussing Twitter:
‘Boom. I press it, and, within two seconds, ‘We have breaking news.’’
Yes, when the president of the United States takes to social media to do things like threaten to wipe not one but two countries off the face of the earth, people generally consider it newsworthy.
Trump has failed to take the longer term impacts of his actions into any substantive account while in office. He’s fired off tweets like he’s just trying to see what he can get away with, and now, he’s facing some of the consequences for his belligerence via House Democrats’ impeachment inquiry.