Old Man Tweets at Television: A Day in the Life of Donald J. Trump | News
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Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Old Man Tweets at Television: A Day in the Life of Donald J. Trump

Posted by on Wed, Jan 3, 2018 at 9:18 AM

This post is excerpted from the INDY’s morning newsletter, Primer. To read this morning’s edition in full, click here. To get all the day’s local and national headlines and insights delivered straight to your inbox, sign up here.

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:
click to enlarge screen_shot_2018-01-03_at_8.04.40_am.png

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. [NYT]
  • “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.”

Related: Trump could use the Iran protests to kill the nuclear deal—which might, in turn, play into the hands of the regime’s authoritarian rulers, who are already blaming the West for the unrest. [Politico]

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