President Donald Trump, dangerously armed with 140-character strikes, has hailed Twitter as a contemporary strategy that he finds “very effective.”
“Well, I think tweet — you know, well Twitter is really a modern-day form of communication,” Trump explained to WZZM 13 in an interview in September, 2016. “It’s one way you communicate, whereas, you know, two years ago, five years ago, 20 years ago, you wouldn’t have this. But now it’s a modern-day way of communicating. I find it very effective.”
Trump considers Twitter his favorite form of communication, and he tweets frequently, sometimes several times a day. The difficult part about this for members of Congress, executive branch officials, lobbyists, the media and others is that they aren’t sure how seriously to take Trump’s tweets. Some say the tweets, limited by Twitter to 140 characters each, are often designed to intimidate his adversaries and throw his critics off balance.
But they do gather an enormous amount of media coverage and allow Trump to get his message across the nation. He has used Twitter in the past to criticize House Republicans for voting to throw out their ethics oversight office, a move which was voided after Trump’s critical tweet. He also questioned the effectiveness of the nation’s intelligence services, and threatened to punish Toyota with additional taxes if the auto company follows through with plans to build a plant in Mexico.
White House reporters fear that Trump’s tweets will result in less access and influence for them because he can communicate directly with millions of Americans through Twitter without going through the conventional news media.