Donald Trump Looking Stern

Photo via Secretary of Defense/Flickr (CC-BY)

Trump’s morning Twitter tirade slammed for bizarre inaccuracies

Trump's back in the U.S.—and on Twitter.

 

Andrew Couts

Tech

Published May 30, 2017   Updated May 24, 2021, 12:50 pm CDT

President Donald Trump is back in the United States from his first trip abroad—and with that comes a flurry of new eyebrow-raising tweets.

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The president started his morning by taking shots at Germany, calling the country’s contributions to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) “very bad for the U.S.” That’s after German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, after meeting with Trump at the NATO summit last week, that Europe could no longer count on U.S. leadership.

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Stoking the flames of international tensions with one of America’s most powerful allies is news all on its own. But Trump was just getting started. Roughly 25 minutes later, the president claimed that Russia is “laughing at the U.S.” due to media coverage of investigations into Moscow’s meddling in the 2016 election, as well as its potential links to the Trump campaign, which he once again dubbed “fake news.”

Regardless of how the Democrats are trying to spin the Russia story, a key fact remains: There are currently five ongoing investigations into Russia and the Trump campaign, four in Congress and one led by Special Prosecutor Rober Muller, the former FBI director. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Muller to take over the investigation after Trump suddenly fired former FBI Director James Comey.

Trump’s next tweet, however, likely caused the most chatter—at least among those who’ve been paying close attention to the ongoing fights over healthcare and taxes.

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The dangers of eliminating the legislative filibuster aside, this tweet quickly caught fire due to the fact that Republicans are already planning to maneuver their Affordable Care Act replacement bill and tax reform through the Senate with a simple majority. That’s because they both fall under a process called budget reconciliation, which only requires 51 votes to pass, not a 60-vote supermajority that would require Democratic cooperation. (Republicans currently hold 52 seats in the Senate.)

Political wonks were quick to call Trump out for his unnecessary demand.

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https://twitter.com/aravosis/status/869561316964478976

To cap off his morning tweets, Trump retweeted a Fox News story that refutes reports from the Washington Post and New York Times (both published on Friday) that Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and a White House adviser, attempted to set up “back channel” communications with Russia.

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The Post and Times reports are both based on information provided by anonymous sources, a journalistic practice that is necessary, legitimate—and often untrusted by readers. Readers like Trump, who tweeted on Sunday that news reports that use anonymous sources may simply be entirely made up.

That assessment apparently does not apply to Fox News, which based its report on Kushner on a single anonymous source. (The Post‘s report cited multiple “U.S. officials,” while the Times credited “three people with knowledge of the discussion.”) Adding to the questionable nature of the Fox News report: It has no byline, meaning no reporter put their name on the piece. (Fox News intelligence reporter Catherine Herridge is credited with contributing to the report, but it doesn’t indicate that she wrote it.)

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All said, it appears America has returned to the bizarre new normal of 2017.

Welcome home, Mr. President.

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*First Published: May 30, 2017, 11:10 am CDT