Within the first day President Trump has tweeted six times about the London Bridge attacks. Since candidate Trump began tweeting, his tweets have been subject to regular scrutiny and this only intensified when President Trump continued to tweet from @realdonaldtrump. Trump suddenly had, and still has, two different twitter accounts. Most would immediately understand that @POTUS should be an official “business” account while @realdonaldtrump should be personal thoughts only. However, in true Donald Trump style, Trump ignored these intuitive boundaries and has continued to tweet about official White House and President business from @realdonaldtrump, from his first foreign trip to pulling out of the Paris Agreement.
Many NATO countries have agreed to step up payments considerably, as they should. Money is beginning to pour in- NATO will be much stronger. @realdonaldtrump
The Fake News Media works hard at disparaging & demeaning my use of social media because they don't want America to hear the real story! @realdonaldtrump
This blurring of the lines appears to be intentional; @realdonaldtrump often retweets from @POTUS, signifying personal agreement. However, @realdonaldtrump often goes a step further and often elaborates on his personal thoughts on these official subjects. From fake news tweets to threatening Comey with tapes to his thoughts on NATO, @realdonaldtrump isn’t just about making soundbites, it’s him giving his opinion, as he has always done when he was a businessman.
This is unusual because every other president has fully embraced the role by embodying and becoming the institution of the presidency. Trump, however has decided to create two Donald Trumps via social media, who sometimes, and sometimes don’t, become one.
Terrorism was a major part of Trump’s campaign, but terrorism, for Trump, had a very specific racial and religious characterisation and tone. @realdonaldtrump’s numerous tweets about terrorism often conflated it with Islam and the Middle East. Of course, most (and certainly all liberals should) understand that terrorism is color and religion blind.
This dual Trump, in the context of terrorism, then speaks to what he does and doesn’t believe in, and it is as crucial to look at what @realdonaldtrump doesn’t tweet, especially when @POTUS does. After any attack like Portland it would be expected that the President, who is so obsessed with Twitter that his Middle East foreign trip was scheduled so that he couldn’t have time to tweet, would tweet condolences. But he didn’t, until national journalists called him out and asked him if he would say anything at all. Three days later, the president, who communicates almost more through social media than press conferences, finally tweeted. From @POTUS. The immediate tweet before it, regarding Memorial Day, was retweeted to @realdonaldtrump. So why not Portland when Trump, after a few hours, tweets about London Bridge? The answer is rather self-evident.
Terrorism, for Trump, has only one color and one religion, and veterans who are killed stopping white supremacists aren’t worth his tweeting time and effort. What Trump doesn’t tweet sometimes speaks louder than what he does.