Trump tweets that Puerto Rico made its own mess, and the U.S. can't stay there cleaning up indefinitely
After threatening to cancel NBC's "license" up until late Wednesday (presidents can't do that, as an FCC commissioner noted), President Trump began Thursday on Twitter by appearing to tell Puerto Rico that its slow but steady federal relief effort after its worst hurricane in a century had a pending expiration date.
"Puerto Rico survived the Hurricanes, now a financial crisis looms largely of their own making." says Sharyl Attkisson. A total lack of.....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
...accountability say the Governor. Electric and all infrastructure was disaster before hurricanes. Congress to decide how much to spend....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
It isn't clear what prompted Trump's tweets about the U.S. territory, where 35 percent of residents still don't have drinking water and 10 percent have electricity. But on Thursday, the House will vote on a $36.5 billion emergency spending bill for the areas hit by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria that includes $5.05 billion in loans for Puerto Rico to cover immediate liquidity needs, plus $18.7 billion for FEMA, and $16 billion for the National Flood Insurance Program. That $16 billion, The Intercept notes, is essentially debt relief for homeowners who built in at-risk coastal areas. Peter Weber
Because Washington is now a reality TV show performed on social media, President Trump suggested in a tweet early Tuesday that he would send health-care reform to the next round "using the power of the pen." Other than saying he would "give great HealthCare to many people — FAST," Trump did not provide any details.
Since Congress can't get its act together on HealthCare, I will be using the power of the pen to give great HealthCare to many people - FAST
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 10, 2017
Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported that Trump is planning executive orders to undo some of the health-care regulations his predecessor, Barack Obama, enacted, including "broad instructions for agencies to explore ways to loosen regulations and potentially lower premiums." The thrust of the rule changes, Jonathan Cohn reports at HuffPost, would be to "undermine the rules that guarantee comprehensive coverage to people with pre-existing conditions," adding, "Just how far the administration can take this effort is not clear."
"In the worst-case scenario," Cohn writes, "Trump's executive action could destabilize insurance markets ― making coverage much more expensive or even unavailable to some small businesses and individuals, especially those with serious medical problems, even as it would make coverage cheaper for others in relatively good health." Trump said he would give health care to "many people," not more people. Peter Weber
If you woke up on Friday hoping that President Trump might be thinking about de-escalating the tensions with North Korea, it may be best to hit the snooze button on your alarm clock. In his latest provocative tweet, Trump borrowed from the language of the NRA to send Kim Jong Un a message.
Military solutions are now fully in place,locked and loaded,should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 11, 2017
Based on North Korea's recent history, it's unlikely that raising the stakes will get Kim to "find another path," unless that path is a face-saving off-ramp from this growing nuclear confrontation. On the other hand, it's nice to know that America's nuclear arsenal is still locked down. Peter Weber
President Trump was up early on Tuesday, and he took to Twitter to complain, again, about his attorney general, Jeff Sessions. This time, Trump suggested he was moved to pick up his smartphone by a segment on Sean Hannity's Fox News show, and he was evidently stewing about Hillary Clinton and what he said was Ukraine's attempts to help her in the 2016 election. "So where is the investigation A.G.," Trump tweeted. He sent another tweet nine minutes later:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 25, 2017
Trump followed that up with some confusing allegations against acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe. Trump has been increasingly critical of Sessions for recusing himself from the investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia, and he and his aides are reportedly considering either firing the attorney general or pressuring him to resign. Tuesday morning's tweetstorm could be read either way. Peter Weber
The Senate Republican health-care bill is now short the necessary votes to pass, and on Monday night, President Trump used Twitter to direct the GOP on its next steps.
"Republicans should just REPEAL failing ObamaCare now and work on a new health-care plan that will start from a clean slate," Trump said. He also predicted that if they do so, "Dems will join in!" Once Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Sen. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) announced Monday night they were not going to vote for the bill as written, joining Rep. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), the proposal became doomed. Catherine Garcia
After North Korean missile launch, Trump asks if Kim Jong Un 'has anything better to do with his life'
President Trump responded to North Korea's launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday by wondering in a series of tweets if North Korean leader Kim Jong Un could find a hobby that doesn't involve developing weapons capable of mass destruction.
"Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?" Trump asked. "Hard to believe that South Korea…and Japan will put up with this much longer. Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!" Earlier this year, when North Korea said it was coming close to launching an intercontinental ballistic missile, Trump tweeted, "It won't happen!" Catherine Garcia
On Thursday morning, President Trump tweeted out some gross comments about MSNBC's Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski, apparently because she made fun of his framed fake Time magazine covers (not that he watches Morning Joe anymore!), and the tweets were not well-received, generally. In case you were offline all Thursday, or it was "beneath your dignity" to engage with the president's mean tweets, CNN has a quick summary.
Trump faced sometimes scathing reprimands from Republican lawmakers, TV commentators, and blue-checkmark Twitter for his tweets, but if he were in any other job, he would likely be sacked, workforce and social media experts tell The Associated Press. "Mr. Trump would be fired for his tweets of today, and nearly every day," Mike Driehorst, a social media expert at the marketing firm Weaving Influence, tells AP. "Most companies have a thin skin when it comes to public criticism and media reports." You can complain about work on Twitter, legally speaking, adds employment lawyer Nannina Angioni, but if "you take to Twitter to call your boss a 'psycho' or say that your CEO has a 'low I.Q.' that could absolutely get you fired."
The fact that Trump is the boss wouldn't necessarily protect him, either. "Any good outside crisis adviser would tell the company's board that they have no choice but to terminate the CEO," said Hofstra University public relations expert Kara Alaimo. "Today, more than ever before, citizens expect companies to espouse and uphold values." Every company has different policies about social media, AP notes, some more lenient than others, but federal agencies like the General Services Administration prohibit "engaging in vulgar or abusive language, personal attacks of any kind, or offensive terms targeting individuals or groups." You can read some examples of people fired over their social media posts at AP.
People have also been kicked off Twitter for abusive tweets, but Twitter's harassment rules "leave plenty of grey area," CNN reports. "We don't comment on individual accounts, for privacy and security reasons," a Twitter spokesperson told CNN when it asked how close Trump's tweets get him to violating the company's rules. "I'm sure the Twitter team loathes how the product is being used by Trump," a former Twitter executive tells CNN, adding, "If they suspend his account, they'll have to do this consistently with other harassment accounts, which is impossible." Peter Weber
With little fanfare, first lady Melania Trump moved into the White House on Sunday along with her and President Trump's 11-year-old son, Barron. The president has reportedly spoken with his wife frequently during her five-month absence from 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., and some Trump friends suggest that having the first lady in the White House will steady the Trump presidential ship. "She is the president's never-ending barometer of reality, and she delivers candor and honesty blended with selfless love for him and his family in equal doses," said Thomas J. Barrack Jr., a close friend of the Trumps. "She is the immovable rudder to an ever-changing sea."
But Trump supporters and White House aides who view in Melania Trump "a ray of hope as the person who will finally be the one to tame the untamable president," especially when it comes to early-morning, potentially self-destructive tweeting, should hold their breath, says Maggie Haberman at The New York Times. "Those expectations are unrealistic, unfairly raise expectations, and are unlikely to be met, people close to Mrs. Trump point out."
"President Trump has been steadfast in making his own decisions about social media, overruling advice from aides," notes Krissah Thompson at The Washington Post. Thompson points to an interview Melania Trump gave to the luxury magazine Du Jour last year, in which she said he gives "a lot of advice to my husband and tell him how it is and how I see it." Trump's kids from his previous two marriages would call her after a speech, she added. "They know I would talk to him and put him in the right direction. Sometimes he does, and sometimes he doesn't. He will decide what he does." Haberman recalled Melania Trump's comment to CNN's Anderson Cooper not long after her husband's Access Hollywood video surfaced: "Sometimes I say I have two teenage boys at home — my young son and my husband." Peter Weber