Feature

Cause: Cable news segment. Effect: Trump tweets!

President Trump watches a lot of TV. Then he tweets about it.

It's no secret that President Donald Trump is glued to his television. The commander-in-chief reportedly rises before 6 a.m. to turn on news programs, and then resumes watching shows after his presidential duties are done for the day. Trump is not a passive viewer, though; more than occasionally, what he hears sends his fingers flying to Twitter. To wit:

1. Flag burning

Cause:

Effect:

Shortly after being elected president, Trump took to Twitter to express his strong opinions about flag burning. It was hardly an errant thought: Just half an hour earlier, Fox News had aired a segment about flag burning in Massachusetts.

2. A CNN reporter

Cause:

Effect:

CNN's Jeff Zeleny has no patience for Trump's claims that widespread voter fraud took place during the 2016 presidential election. On Nov. 28, Zeleny aired a segment challenging Trump's allegations as being unsubstantiated. Shortly afterward, Trump began retweeting his supporters trashing Zeleny.

3. Chicago "carnage"

Cause:

Effect:

On Jan. 25, President Trump raged about the "horrible 'carnage'" in Chicago. But CNN reports that "shortly after 8 p.m. on Tuesday night, Fox's O'Reilly Factor ran a segment about violence in Chicago that included the following statistics: '228 shootings in 2017 (up 5.5 percent from last year and 42 homicides in 2017 (up 24 percent from last year).' One of the show's guests, Horace Cooper, used the word 'carnage' as well on the show."

4. Voter fraud investigation

Cause:

Effect:

Also on Jan. 25, President Trump tweeted his plans to investigate voter fraud despite there being no evidence that mass fraud occurred. Trump's tweets might have been an irritated response to CNN's Jake Tapper, who hours earlier had challenged the White House to provide evidence that backed up Trump's claims. "There is a reason they are providing no evidence," Tapper said. "There is no evidence. It's not true."

5. "Ungrateful traitor," "weak leader"

Cause:

Effect:

CNN's Brian Stelter noticed that Trump's tweet slamming Chelsea Manning as an "ungrateful TRAITOR" came just 14 minutes after a segment on Fox News that labeled her in exactly those words.

6. Gregg Phillips

Cause:

Effect:

This one is another good catch by Stelter. Gregg Phillips is the founder of an "election fraud reporting app" and has claimed that there were millions of illegal votes in the 2016 election. Phillips appeared on CNN's New Day on Jan. 27. Around 7:25 a.m., Chris Cuomo challenged him about the lack of sufficient evidence for his claims. At 8:12 a.m., Trump tweeted that he is looking forward to seeing the "final results" to Phillips' research.

7. UC Berkeley

Cause:

Effect:

President Trump took a concerning step on Thursday when he threatened to defund the University of California at Berkeley after enormous protests against alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos canceled Yiannopoulos' speaking event. Apparently it wasn't Trump's original idea: He had gotten it from morning television.

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