Hurricane Donald: Trump Creates a New Twitter Storm

Hurricane Donald: Trump Creates a New Twitter Storm

“What is he going to tweet next?” Since the time of Franklin Roosevelt, U.S. presidents have sought to circumvent the White House press corps, and have invariably employed the latest technologies to try and accomplish that goal. Ahead of Hurricane Florence making landfall, he was making productive use of that megaphone: The president tweeted more than 15 times about the storm and government preparedness for the disaster. He disputed that in a tweet saying that the increased number was a political tactic from Democrats: “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump wrote. As time went by it did not go up by much. “[L]ike we'd be in day 7 of oped/Woodward gate otherwise.” Experts in the field say that despite the dustup Trump’s tweets engender, they remain an effective means of communication, particularly in times of crisis or disaster. He noted that Trump added more Twitter followers in one year than the Federal Emergency Management Agency, with its 713,000 followers, has in total. “People make huge sacrifices to evacuate and can grow distrustful of scientists and forecasters when, the last time they were told to leave due to biblical flooding, the area ended up getting only a few droplets,” said Kalev Leetaru, founder of the GDELT Project, a data company that monitors media globally. But sometimes, even tweets on natural disasters have a purely political purpose. Former Trump campaign adviser Sam Nunberg said that Trump merely wants to counter allegations thrown at him — such as the increased death toll in Puerto Rico, along with the implication that it’s his fault. “They’re trying to set this up that he is a Katrina-like Bush president,” said Nunberg.

This Man Is Turning Donald Trump’s Tweets Into ‘Official’ Presidential Statements
Trump can block people on Twitter if he wants, administration says
Trump Calls Jeff Sessions ‘Mr. Magoo’ And Twitter Can’t Get Over It
Hurricane Donald: Trump Creates a New Twitter Storm

This was going to be a story about how President Trump finally figured out a Twitter strategy that even his adversaries could appreciate: encouraging Americans in the path of Hurricane Florence to heed the advice of authorities and evacuate.

Then the president got to thinking about Puerto Rico, and the musings of another human typhoon, former White House aide Omarosa Manigault Newman, came to mind. “I was haunted by tweets every single day,” she whispered in February to a fellow reality show contestant. “What is he going to tweet next?”

Since the time of Franklin Roosevelt, U.S. presidents have sought to circumvent the White House press corps, and have invariably employed the latest technologies to try and accomplish that goal. In other words, Trump’s argument that he needs a way to speak directly to the public because the media are against him is not new – even if, in his case, it’s never been more accurate.

And with more than 50 million followers, Trump can reach more Americans than all the network nightly newscasts put together. Ahead of Hurricane Florence making landfall, he was making productive use of that megaphone: The president tweeted more than 15 times about the storm and government preparedness for the disaster.

But then disaster of another sort struck. Early Thursday, Trump addressed a new study from George Washington University that estimates last year’s hurricane death toll in Puerto Rico to be nearly 3,000. He disputed that in a tweet saying that the increased number was a political tactic from Democrats: “3000 people did not die in the two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico,” Trump wrote. “When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…

“This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad…

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares
Share This