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Trump tweets
May 20, 2019

All the major players in the intensifying standoff between the U.S. and Iran say they do not want war, usually with a caveat. On Sunday, Saudi Arabia's foreign affairs minister and the commander of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps both reiterated that their countries aren't looking for war but aren't afraid to fight, either. President Trump has similarly said he doesn't want war with Iran, but.

On Sunday afternoon, Trump tweeted: "If Iran wants to fight, that will be the official end of Iran. Never threaten the United States again!" Trump's threat to obliterate Iran may have been in response to initial reports of a rocket fired into the Green Zone in Iraq — the State Department confirmed Sunday night that a "low-grade rocket" landed harmlessly about a mile from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad — but Matthew Gertz at Media Matters has another theory:

Gertz had more evidence Trump was live-tweeting Fox News, including Trump's tweet attacking his favorite network for hosting Democrat Pete Buttigieg. Still, it's not like Trump has been silent about Iran over the past week. In a Fox News interview broadcast Sunday night, but recorded last week, Trump said he's "not somebody that wants to go in to war, because war hurts economies, war kills people, most importantly." But, he said, "I just don't want them to have nuclear weapons and they can't be threatening us."

"The current tensions are rooted in Trump's decision last year to withdraw the U.S. from the 2015 nuclear accord between Iran and world powers and impose wide-reaching sanctions," The Associated Press reports. "Iran has said it would resume enriching uranium at higher levels if a new nuclear deal is not reached by July 7. That would potentially bring it closer to being able to develop a nuclear weapon, something Iran insists it has never sought." Peter Weber

May 20, 2019

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, did a Fox News town hall on Sunday, and he took a few moments to criticize the network's own prime-time opinion hosts Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham. President Trump didn't tweet about that, but he did criticize host Chris Wallace for noting that the 37-year-old mayor, a war veteran and Rhodes Scholar who speaks several languages, "has a lot of substance" and a "fascinating biography," while never saying the same things about Trump.

Now, if you were an outside journalist, like The Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, you might recap Trump's tweet as: "The president openly tells a news network they are not doing enough to favor him." A Fox News stalwart like Brit Hume had a slightly different angle, but he also found the tweet offensive enough to merit a rare rebuke of Trump.

Trump, who had his own one-on-one interview air on Fox News Sunday night, was retweeting Hume sticking up for him a few hours later, so no bad blood there. Former Tea Party Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.), now a conservative talk show host, tweeted that the whole episode highlights an "under-reported" fact about Trump: "He really doesn't do much. People assume that, as president, he's really busy. He's not. He watches TV, he tweets, he does rallies. About it." Peter Weber

May 5, 2019

After Rep. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) announced on Sunday that Special Counsel Robert Mueller might testify before the House Judiciary Committee later this month, President Trump fired off a few tweets, declaring that "Bob Mueller should not testify. No redos for the Dems!"

Trump said Mueller's report on Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible obstruction of justice showed "NO COLLUSION," and he wants to know "why would the Democrats in Congress now need Robert Mueller to testify? Are they looking for a redo because they hated the strong NO COLLUSION conclusion?" Trump went on to claim that the Democrats committed a crime which was "incredibly not covered in the report," although he didn't elaborate on what illegal activity allegedly took place.

After discussing Mueller's possible testimony on Fox News Sunday, Cicilline clarified on Twitter that the committee is "aiming to bring Mueller in on the 15th, but nothing has been agreed to yet. That's the date the committee has proposed, and we hope the special counsel will agree to it." Catherine Garcia

April 23, 2019

Twitter and the White House were both mum about President Trump's meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey before it happened on Tuesday afternoon, and the participants were only slightly more forthcoming afterward. Trump — who requested the meeting — tweeted a photo of the Oval Office gathering, Dorsey responded by thanking Trump for discussing ways to make Twitter "healthier and more more civil," and Twitter said the meeting centered on "protecting the health of the public conversation ahead of the 2020 U.S. elections and efforts underway to respond to the opioid crisis."

In fact, "a significant portion of the meeting focused on Trump's concerns that Twitter quietly, and deliberately, has limited or removed some of his followers," The Washington Post reports, citing a person with direct knowledge of the conversation. "Trump said he had heard from fellow conservatives who had lost followers for unclear reasons as well."

Dorsey explained to Trump that a user's follower count fluctuates as Twitter removes bots and fraudulent spam accounts, "noting even he had lost followers as part of Twitter's work to enforce its policies," the Post reports. Trump isn't the only conservative who has complained that Twitter secretly undermines their tweets — though he is one of the few users Twitter won't touch for violating the site's terms of service — but Twitter insists it is a politics-neutral platform, and the site's "heightened crackdown against spam," the Post notes, "long has affected both liberals and conservatives on the site." Peter Weber

April 17, 2019

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) seemed to know he could get inside President Trump's head by doing a town hall on Fox News, and Trump's Twitter feed shows that 24 hours after the town hall aired, Sanders was still in there, rent-free. Trump appeared to still be stewing over what Politico calls Sanders' "triumphant" hour of "positive publicity" and frequent domination of Fox News from "smack in the middle of Trump Country." Among other things, Trump accused Fox News of having "stuffed" the town hall with an unrepresentative sample of "Bernie supporters."

This wasn't Trump's only tweet about Sanders, either. He commented on Sanders' tax returns, suggesting that Sanders and his wife "made a fortune off of Trump" (which is "a good thing, not a bad thing"), and endearing himself to Sanders supporters by suggesting that "Crazy Bernie" has a 50-50 shot of losing to him in the 2020 general election.

"May God Rest Their Soul!" is a creepy thing to say about any political opponent, but especially about two fellow septuagenarians who are still very much alive. Peter Weber

March 19, 2019

President Trump, "mostly alone in the White House on Saturday and Sunday," averaged "just over a tweet per hour through the weekend as he decried various subjects, from unflattering television coverage to the late Republican Sen. John McCain," The Washington Post reports. Almost none of his 50-plus tweets dealt with Friday's terrorist attack that murdered at least 50 Muslims at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, evidently carried out by an avowed white nationalist.

"After a tweet Friday expressing his 'warmest sympathy and best wishes' for the people of New Zealand — and a brief statement decrying 'the monstrous terror attacks' that transformed 'sacred places of worship' into 'scenes of evil killing' — the president largely devoted his weekend to personal grievance," the Post notes. This matches what critics call a familiar pattern for Trump, who "has often seemed eager to highlight attacks and hate crimes perpetrated by Muslims but has frequently been slower and less forceful when Muslims are the victims," the Post says, adding:

One former senior administration official said Trump often associated Muslims with terrorism and rehashed grim Muslim terrorist attacks, even in private. "He thinks, and says sometimes, that Muslims are taking over Europe," this person said. This former official, as well as a second person, said they'd never heard Trump use a derogatory term for Muslims in private. But they said many of his political calculations are based on how his supporters, whom he often calls "my people" or "the base," will see an issue. [The Washington Post]

Along with tweet-complaining about Fox News and SNL, Trump called allies "all weekend to vent," one person who spoke with Trump told the Post. One of those allies, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), said Trump briefly mentioned the New Zealand shooter in their hour-long talk Sunday, asking "how could someone be so cruel?" Overall, Trump "was actually in a good spot," Graham added. Read more at The Washington Post. Peter Weber

March 12, 2019

In the wake of the Boeing 737 MAX 8 jet crash that killed 157 people in Ethiopia, President Trump took to Twitter to express his dissatisfaction with airplane safety. But rather than advocate for improved safety features or tighter regulations, the president voiced support for "old and simpler" technology.

Trump tweeted that airplanes "are becoming far too complex to fly," presumably more complex than his long-defunct airline, Trump Shuttle. Though plane crash deaths increased in 2018, the number of crashes is "about a third of what it was in the 1990s and a quarter of what it was in the 1970s when things were 'simpler,'" writes The New York Times' Peter Baker.

The president's argument is that pilots nowadays need to be as tech-savvy as computer scientists from MIT, which causes problems in split-second decisions. Trump wrote that he doesn't want Albert Einstein flying his plane, but rather "great flying professionals." Tim O'Donnell

January 23, 2019

President Trump tweeted late Wednesday night that he will give his State of the Union address once the government shutdown is over.

His announcement came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) sent a letter informing him that she would not hold a vote on a resolution authorizing him to give his speech in the House chamber until the government re-opened. Trump tweeted that it was "her prerogative" to suggest that he deliver the State of the Union at a later date, and he will "do the Address when the Shutdown is over."

Trump also said he never looked for an alternative location to give the address, because "there is no venue that can complete with the history, tradition, and importance of the House Chamber. I look forward to giving a 'great' State of the Union Address in the near future!" Catherine Garcia

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