Shortly after the terrorist attacks in London, President Donald Trump began to voice his thoughts via Twitter. And as is become his habit, he did so recklessly.
Trump’s obsession with Twitter is hurting not only his agenda, but he is also embarrassing the country and the conservative movement, which had hoped to make substantive progress under this president.
But so far, the timeline of this administration can be tracked by Trump’s Twitter rampages, which have only served to damage his reputation at home and abroad and keep people talking about everything except his goals. This week is the perfect illustration of how social media is ruining a presidency.
Three assailants killed seven people and wounded 48 others by ramming a vehicle into a crowd on London Bridge and then stabbing people in nearby Borough Market.
Even as the victims’ bodies hit the London pavement, the leader of the free world retweeted an unconfirmed rumor from the Drudge Report.
Fears of new terror attack after van ‘mows down 20 people’ on London Bridge…
— DRUDGE REPORT (@DRUDGE_REPORT) June 3, 2017
At the time, there was no way to know if the tweet was accurate and British authorities had yet to make an official statement. Instead of waiting for the facts, Trump’s tweets followed the reputation of immaturity and inappropriateness he set on the campaign trail.
He next publicized his poor taste by politicizing a tragedy, using the attacks, which still were unconfirmed as acts of terrorism, to justify his travel ban, which is heading to the Supreme Court for review.
We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 3, 2017
This brash behavior gave the left the perfect opportunity to avoid the issues at the center of the London attacks, mainly that radical Islam has imbedded itself into European societies. Liberals would rather be anti-Trump than anti-Islam, as they’ve shown time and time again. Trump proved to be the perfect distraction from facing a reality they’d rather ignore.
The morning after the attacks, Trump decided he hadn’t gotten his point across and took to Twitter once again — this time to insult British leaders.
At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is “no reason to be alarmed!”
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 4, 2017
Say what you will about London’s mayor, Sadiq Khan, but his original message bares no resemblance to Trump’s interpretation:
“Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. There’s no reason to be alarmed,” Khan tweeted.
Khan explained the city was taking measures to protect its people, and Trump used one out-of-context phrase to pick a fight with his long-standing rival in the midst of a tragedy.
That led Khan to call for the cancellation of Trump’s visit to the United Kingdom. Khan said the president’s policies go against everything for which Britain stands.
Trump’s Twitter fury time and again has discredited him in the world’s eyes, furthering the havoc he has wreaked on America’s international image.
The episode was far from finished, though. He continued by criticizing his own administration, saying his Justice Department should not have submitted a “watered down, politically correct version” of the travel ban to the Supreme Court.
George Conway, husband of White House counselor Kellyanne Conway, then took to Twitter saying Trump was not only hurting the conservative agenda but also damaging his own in the process.
These tweets may make some ppl feel better, but they certainly won’t help OSG get 5 votes in SCOTUS, which is what actually matters. Sad. https://t.co/zVhcyfm8Hr
— George Conway (@gtconway3d) June 5, 2017
With each tweet a bullet in his foot, it is now implausible to argue that Trump is using Twitter as a means to bypass a biased media. What might have begun as an attempt to communicate directly with his supporters has become irrational and a jarring reminder that Trump’s reactions shatter the conventional form of presidential responses. His use of Twitter surpasses the failure to merely conform to convention, though. By breaking the mold, he has set a new trend of disrespect and irresponsibility — one that will only continue to damage his presidency and our nation.
There are many vital issues pending in Washington, including health care and tax reform. If Trump has any hope of advancing them, he needs to take a break from social media. Better yet, delete the Twitter app.