It is not clear what obstacles the President will be able to apply to social media companies through executive orders. Regardless, this step enhances Trump’s fight with Silicon Valley, and highlights what he believes is a battle worth having. In many ways, the latest episode with Twitter feeds Trump’s narrative that there is a strong force in the media that is in harmony with him, and that it is the only voice that can be trusted by his supporters.
“This plays a direct role in the hands of President Trump,” said Jason Miller, communications director for the 2016 Trump campaign and someone who has been directly involved with Trump’s social media strategy. “They basically handed him a big present.”
Many of Trump’s political allies rushed to defend himself on Wednesday.
“Twitter was involved in the intervention of the 2020 elections. They used their thumbs on the scale,” said Florida Republican Rep Matt Gaetz, a loyal Trump supporter and successor during a podcast produced by Steve Bannon War Room Pandemic. “The idea that they will outsource the facts to check the wrong people about everything is an insult.”
Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale said that his team no longer paid for advertising on Twitter and accused the tech giant of deliberately influencing the election to hurt the president.
“We always know that Silicon Valley will stop all obstacles to obstruct and interfere with President Trump to deliver his message to voters,” Parscale said in a statement. “Partnering with fake news media ‘fact-checking’ is just a smoke screen that Twitter uses to try to provide their clear political tactics some false credibility.”
Others in the government, and even some of Trump’s closest advisers, were regularly stunned by what appeared in his bait – if not always surprised.
While his messages often have the effect of diverting attention from unprofitable headlines, people close to the President say it is their impression that he truly believes many of the conspiracies he sent – including theories disputed about his predecessors – and that he not only raised them with the hope of diverting attention elsewhere.
Scavino is usually a person who searches for internet content – sometimes from fringe sources and often incendiaries – who find a way to feed Trump’s Twitter, even though friends and other advisers have suggested tweets and retweets as well.
The Scavino West Wing office gives him regular access to the President, as does his presence which is almost everywhere on Trump’s journey, where he is often seen recording videos or photographing the President. He is believed to be the only other person who has access to @RealDonaldTrump, although the account mechanism has never been confirmed by the White House.
Harsh words from Trump are always controversial. But recently, when the US death toll from a pandemic has approached 100,000, they have become uncomfortable for even some of the President’s most prominent supporters.
“I think the President should stop tweeting about Joe Scarborough in the middle of a pandemic,” said Representative Liz Cheney, a Wyoming Republican. “He is the commander in chief of this nation and he caused great pain in the family of the young woman who died.”
But those who understand the President’s social media habits believe that it is unlikely he will change his behavior in the near future. Miller, who has been present as Trump made his tweet, said the President viewed the platform as a channel through which he could speak directly to his supporters.
“That is one of President Trump’s super powers,” Miller said. “He understood from the start that social media, especially Twitter, gave him varnish access to Americans and their supporters. What Trump maximized was the ability of social media to cut out artificial talks made by mainstream media.”
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