This post is excerpted from the
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Donald Trump had a hell of a day on Twitter yesterday
[Twitter], in what seems like a running conversation between the president of the United States and whatever was on Fox News at the moment. Let’s review:
- He all but called for regime change in Iran. [INDY]
- He called for Huma Abedin, the former Hillary Clinton aide, to be jailed—along with James Comey, of course—and labeled the Justice Department the “Deep State.” [Politico]
- He attacked The New York Times—after giving it an exclusive interview—demanding that the paper “treat the President of the United States FAIRLY, so that the next time I (and the people) win, you won’t have to write an apology to your readers for a job poorly done!” [Politico]
- He announced that on Monday, he will present “THE MOST DISHONEST & CORRUPT MEDIA AWARDS OF THE YEAR.” Presumably, this will not include his pal Sean Hannity. [Politico]
- He credited himself for there being zero commercial airline deaths in 2017, though a) there were ten fatal charter and cargo plane accidents, and b) there hasn’t been a commercial flight-death in the U.S. since 2009. [NYT]
- He attacked Democrats for “doing nothing on DACA,” even though he was the one who repealed the program, and predicted Hispanics would “start ‘falling in love’ with Republicans.” [Twitter]
- And he pledged again to build the wall and touted companies giving their employees bonuses thanks to his tax cut. [WaPo]
- Trump being Trump, most of these tweets contained factual errors. [WaPo]
- Then came the coup d’ grace, in which the president boasted of having a bigger, more functional nuclear button than Kim Jong-Un.
WHAT IT MEANS:
Most of those tweets are, again, Trump being Trump: bellicose, narcissistic, prone to fanciful thinking—really, just an old man yelling at his TV. But it’s that last one that raised alarm bells
Related: Trump could use the Iran protests to kill the nuclear deal
- “Mr. Trump’s combative response to a statement made the day before by Mr. Kim raised the temperature in the brewing confrontation between the United States and North Korea even as American allies in South Korea were moving to open talks with Pyongyang. The contrast between Mr. Trump’s language and the peace overture by South Korea highlighted the growing rift between two longtime allies. The president’s tone also generated a mix of scorn and alarm among lawmakers, diplomats and national security experts who called it juvenile and frightening for a president handling a foreign policy challenge with world-wrecking consequences. The language was reminiscent of Mr. Trump’s boast during the 2016 presidential campaign that his hands, and by extension his genitals, were in fact big enough.”
- At the risk of being crude, the president of the United States and the dictator of North Korea are in a dick-measuring contest, with the fate of the world at stake.
- “Eliot A. Cohen, who was counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice under President George W. Bush, said the tweet demonstrated an immaturity that is dangerous in a commander in chief. ‘Spoken like a petulant ten year old,’ Mr. Cohen wrote on Twitter. ‘But one with nuclear weapons—for real—at his disposal. How responsible people around him, or supporting him, can dismiss this or laugh it off is beyond me.’”
- CNN media reporter Brian Stelter wrote this morning in his newsletter [MailChimp]: “There's a word for this. Madness. This is madness. Fresh off his holiday vacation, President Trump tweeted sixteen times on Tuesday, veering from complaints about the NYT to calls for the jailing of political opponents to threats of nuclear war. Several of his posts were pretty clearly provoked by cable news segments. As [Jake] Tapper said: ‘None of this [is] normal, none of this [is] acceptable, none of this [is] frankly STABLE behavior.’ We're once again confronted by questions about the president's fitness. Questions about his health. It's uncomfortable. But it is incumbent on journalists to ask these questions and report out the answers.”
—which might, in turn, play into the hands of the regime’s authoritarian rulers, who are already blaming the West for the unrest. [Politico]