First thing each day, as I savour my morning coffee, I read the President’s tweets.
You know that moment when you reach out for your phone bleary eyed to read the morning’s news? Well, I get a Twitter alert: @realdonaldtrump has a new tweet! It’s a wake-up call like no other.
More than anything else in Donald Trump’s America, these tweets tend to set up the tone of the day’s news, and reveal his mood.
This week, he has not been happy, railing about the legal challenges to his executive order on immigration in particular.
Donald Trump tweet: “The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!”
Donald Trump tweet: “Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad!”
Donald Trump: “If the U.S. does not win this case as it so obviously should, we can never have the security and safety to which we are entitled. Politics!”
It’s an unusual way for a President to converse with his public, to say the least, and Mr Trump’s unpredictability and penchant for speaking his mind with no regard for convention has observers aghast and the media scrambling.
His attacks on the judiciary, specifically, have caused concern, as he has personally criticised judges who are expected to rule impartially on his executive order on immigration.
Even his Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch told senators that such attacks are “demoralising” and “disheartening”, although press secretary Sean Spicer vowed that the comments referred to criticism of the judiciary in general and not the President’s tweets.
@SXMPolitics tweet: “He is free to speak his mind” @PressSec said responding to @JaredRizzi’s question about Trump’s comments aimed at the independent judiciary
The press did not believe that one bit.
@JaxAlemany tweet: “Full exchange of @PressSec trying to convince 4 reporters that Gorsuch’s ‘disheartening & demoralizing’ comment wasnt specific to Trump.”
Let’s be honest, White House press briefings are in part an exercise in evasion by the press secretary, no matter the administration. Journalists ask questions and the press secretary gives a partial or non-answer, unless it’s an opportunity to wax lyrical about the administration’s successful policies.
But in this case, the line between truth and fiction is becoming very blurry, if it’s there at all.
A case in point, the list of terror attacks released this week by the White House which it said were not adequately covered by the media. Here’s the BBC’s response.
She said (yes, she’s back)
The President (and the 2016 election runner-up) responded to the 9th Circuit’s decision to uphold the suspension of the Trump Administration’s executive order. (By the way, it’s one of many law suits that the new President is up against).
He also said
Donald Trump tweet: “Big increase in traffic into our country from certain areas, while our people are far more vulnerable, as we wait for what should be EASY D!”
That’s right, Easy D:
That’s not real, obviously. But a worthy Twitter account to follow, where Trump executive orders are reworked into, ahem, art.
Is it a new nickname? Is it slang? A typo? What “Easy D” meant led to a lot of deep dives online.
Sean Spicer continues to play mop-up duty for his boss in the daily press briefing – which is no small feat. After being lampooned on Saturday Night Live last weekend, the pressure is on. And, it’s little surprise that Spicer has minced his words once or twice:
So, on questions about the President’s late-night cable news viewing in a bath robe, Mr Spicer refuted the claims by saying, “I don’t think the president wears a bathrobe and definitely doesn’t own one.”
Naturally, The Internet replied with numerous instances of the Commander-in-Chief wearing a robe, like this:
What else has Mr Spicer had to deal with this week?
Well, there’s the fight the President picked with the department store Nordstrom after it dropped his daughter, Ivanka’s clothing line:
Donald Trump tweet: “My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person — always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!”
It raised serious questions again about the separation between the Trump business and the Trump Administration.
Mr Spicer’s response? The President was within his rights to fight back because it was an attack on his family.
Then, senior counsellor to the President Kellyanne Conway told Fox and Friends to go and buy Ivanka Trump products:
She’s been “counselled”. It’s been a tough week for Sean.
He might look to President Truman’s press secretary for advice. In 1950, President Truman wrote a letter to Washington Post critic Paul Hume when he wrote a stinging review of Truman’s daughter after a signing performance:
@SethAMandel tweet: “Yo Donald, Imma let you finish, but Harry Truman had the best defense of his daughter’s honor of all time”
49 per cent – That’s the percentage of American voters that find the Trump Administration “truthful”, according to a new Emerson College poll. Conversely, 48 per cent thought the opposite. Meanwhile, the news media is even less regarded; 53 per cent of those polled said the news media were “untruthful”.
Much has been made of Donald Trump’s chief strategist, Steve Bannon. Described as the mastermind of the Trump Administration’s executive order on immigration and the ideologue of his inner circle, it’s been suggested that he’s “really” running the White House (just ahead of Fox News and eight spots ahead of “Magic 8 Ball”):
@DanAmira tweet: “Congrats to Steve Bannon on currently leading the ‘Who is the real president?’ standings”
Opinions of Mr Bannon are varied. A new poll shows that while 69 per cent of Democrats find Mr Bannon unfavourable, 65 per cent of Republicans haven’t heard enough about him to have an opinion.
Donald Trump’s cabinet continues to flesh out but it’s met plenty of roadblocks from Democrats (and some Republicans) along the way. The latest to join the Trump team is Betsy DeVos as Secretary of Education:
Betsy DeVos tweet: “Day 1 on the job is done, but we’re only getting started. Now where do I find the pencils? :)”
Her path to join the cabinet wasn’t easy — in an historic move after the Senate vote tied at 50-50, Vice-President Mike Pence was called in to cast the deciding vote:
@colinjones tweet: “Here is Pence breaking the tie. DeVos is officially confirmed. This has never happened before in history.”
Then – moments after she won the vote – a Republican introduced legislation to abolish the department she’s set to run:
@RepThomasMassie tweet: “I just introduced a bill to abolish the federal Dept of Education”
Trump tweets the classics
The President’s rise to power has been defined by his use of Twitter – he continues to use the platform to speak directly to Americans. Now, The New Yorker imagines if he wrote the classics:
Weak Hamlet should stop moaning about past and get on with his life.
The new First Lady is ramping up her staff — this week appointing Anna Cristina Niceta Lloyd as social secretary. Don’t worry people, the Easter Egg roll is now in safe hands.
Busy on Capitol Hill — opposing attorneys-general and debating Ted Cruz on health care. But the Bernie highlight of the week is this guy:
@_cingraham tweet: “Spotted by a redditor this morning at Glam Doll Donuts in Minneapolis”
Ad of the week
A powerful spot from “Vote Vets” — a progressive group of veterans released this week:
@mattmfm tweet: “Wow: @votevets up with an incredible ad today, messaging to Trump directly.”
Obama vs Branson
What does a President do when he finishes eight years in the White House? He goes kite-surfing with billionaire businessman Richard Branson. Check it out:
It’s another late night in the office folks.
That’s your wrap!
10 February 2017 | 9:14 am
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