US Policy via Twitter

I’m not a professional pollster, but I suspect that Trump’s approval ratings would go up by 10 points if he would stop his daily Twitter rants.

One might suppose that attending the G20 would preclude our POTUS from hitting the tweets with great frequency, or that he might be discouraged from focusing on his typical rants. One would be wrong on both counts. He has been tweeting regularly, and then providing that standard deflections and ad hominem against non-flattering interpretations of his messages.

Journalists are encouraged to treat POTUS’s tweets as policy given that Sean Spicer has plat-out said the tweets are official statements. The recent tweets related to a joint US-Russia cyber-security initiative received a great deal of attention based on the fact that the ODNI, CIA, NSA, FBI, and DHS have all been very clear that the Russians were responsible for a number of cyber intrusions in the US. Trump walked this back, while taking shots at the press for correctly covering his official statements, but his positions on demonizing the IC while praising an authoritarian leader have been clear in many public statements, as well as his tweets. (It’s also not helpful when key administration members are not putting out the same message as POTUS.)

Trump is also on the rampage about coverage of his daughter sitting in his seat at the G20. Instead of addressing the alleged impropriety of his daughter sitting in his seat (or, just ignoring the clamor over it), he attacked the press, former Secretary Clinton, and her daughter Chelsea. None of these folks had anything to do with Ivanka sitting in the seat reserved for the US president, but that was his reaction nonetheless. Chelsea reacted:

clinton

Our POTUS is also sharing “official statements” via Twitter related to unsubstantiated assertions about former FBU Director Comey leaking classified, promulgating widely debunked and wholly irrelevant claims related to Former secretary Clinton, and promoting the false narrative that there is a pronounced anti-police sentiment in the US.

I think he would do well to take a more measured approach to policy design so that he doesn’t have to constantly walk back statements. I also believe it would be beneficial to drop the non-stop assault on the first amendment, especially with respect to the free press. If he could just stop tweeting, there would be much less to talk about every day. It wouldn’t make his broader policy positions any more palatable, but it would result in less media time devoted to his incoherent “statements” every day.

It clearly isn’t going to happen.

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