For as often as Trump tweets — and it's often, a current rate of 36 times per day — one would think he would have a better Twitter feed by now.
Instead, Trump tweets over the past decade have ranged from buffoonish posturing to cruel and degrading remarks about women, from displays of laughable incompetence to dangerous, hateful rhetoric. Apart from the rare occasion when Trump makes an actually good joke (and not a "joke" joke), he has spent most of the last 10 years using Twitter in full petty, cruel, and inexplicable earnestness.
The worst of Trump's tweets since 2010 show a celebrity businessman's turn from a conspiracy-theory-loving, combative egoist into one of the most powerful people in the world. From the offensive and the reprehensible to the amusingly bizarre, here are the 65 most baffling times Trump decided to hit send tweet.
You might remember it as the tweet that broke the internet. Just after midnight on a Wednesday in May 2017, Trump accidentally tweeted out a garbled defense of the "negative press" he receives, trailing off mid-sentence with the inexplicable "covfefe." Twitter went to town with jokes ranging from faux concern to endless memes about the word. Trump tried to play it off the next morning, deleting the tweet; then-White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer even attempted to argue to the press that "covfefe" actually made sense. More than anything, the Covfefe Incident was an absurd reminder that Twitter really is a direct pipeline to an unfiltered Trump — typos, made-up words, accidental "send tweets," and all.
This tweet is pure vintage Donald Trump. Before running for president, Trump's feed was almost exclusively made up of pop culture and political commentary, general self-promotion, and bizarre boasts about his own greatness ... such as this.
Trump still uses his Twitter for pop culture commentary, although it's less appropriate now, such as when he announced that the 2018 Oscars were the "lowest rated ... in history" because "we don't have stars anymore" (aside from him, of course). New York Times TV critic James Poniewozik has claimed Trump is best understood as a television character himself, writing, "the 'Donald Trump' who got elected president, who has strutted and fretted across the small screen since the 1980s, is a decades-long media performance."
This belongs on a motivational poster.
Trump drinks Diet Coke.
Trump is always eager to weigh in on things that are extremely not his business ... such as actor Robert Pattinson's love life.
We can thank Jon Stewart for this beauty.
Back in the innocent days of 2016, when every bonkers Trump tweet warranted a headline in a major publication, The Washington Post published "Donald Trump just called himself 'Mr. Brexit,' and nobody really knows why."
"The president is incorrect about how we choose Person of the Year," Time tweeted shortly after Trump shared this boast. "Time does not comment on our choice until publication, which is Dec. 6."
"Job opportunities, at least, for those in need of television exposure and attention," writes authors Peter Oborne and Tom Roberts in How Trump Thinks: His Tweets and the Birth of a New Political Language. "It is less clear how useful the show is in starting business careers."
"This is a completely candid, definitely real, and absolutely not-staged picture of me deep in thought!"
Answer: A decent, ethical person? Way back in 2012, there was a now-almost-forgotten scandal in which the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, was photographed nude sunbathing at a private estate in Provence, France. A paparazzo had used a long-range lens to capture photos of Middleton from half a mile away, with the pictures later published in the French magazine Closer. Trump took to Twitter to blame Middleton for the gross invasion of her own privacy; ultimately a judge ordered Closer to pay Kate and Prince William some 100,000 euros in damages.
Trump delighted in Marco Rubio being mocked for the way he drank water in 2013, and he never forgot about it either. Three years later, at one of his rallies, Trump did his best impression of Rubio drinking water.
Trump's constant dunking on Jeb Bush was one of the most entertaining parts of the 2016 Republican primary, even if his line of attack often resembled the taunts of a schoolyard bully.
Feels important to point out Trump tweeted this ... while he was president. Actually, former California Gov. and one-time New Celebrity Apprentice host Arnold Schwarzenegger has a long, public history of being targeted by Trump (although he has done his share of riling up the president, too). In March 2017, Trump pinned blame about the New Celebrity Apprentice's flop on Schwarzenegger, although Schwarzenegger claimed it was Trump's ongoing involvement that tanked the show: "With Trump being involved ... people have a bad taste and don't want to participate as a spectator or as a sponsor or in any other way support the show," he said.
"Nobody has more respect for women than I do," Trump said at a presidential debate five years after this tweet. "Nobody. Nobody has more respect."
Thanks for the absolutely bonkers mental picture that conjures up, Trump.
Let's not forget that it was Trump who appointed Rex Tillerson in the first place. Additionally, this seems like an admission of failure on his part, since he swore to surround himself "only with the best and most serious people."
Weirdly, it did — maybe too well?
Trump relishes using four-letter words, although they don't often make their way into his tweets. He didn't hold back here.
That doesn't mean what you think it means.
One of Trump's favorite things to yell about on Twitter is Tom Brady (don't believe me?). In this tweet, he is specifically yelling about 1,400 pages of Brady's emails that were entered as evidence in the case concerning the Deflategate scandal, for which Brady was ultimately suspended four games.
Trump frequently attacked former President Barack Obama about his golf habit, yet at the time of publication, the Trump Golf Count website estimates Trump has spent a minimum of 104 days of his presidency playing golf, costing taxpayers an estimated $109,000,000.
Trump loves waging war against "political correctness," but also "assault of our cherished and beautiful phrase" is hilarious phrasing. Won't someone think of the cherished and beautiful phrases!
Possibly Trump's most famous tweet, there are multiple things to unpack here. For one, it shows just how out-of-touch with "Hispanics" Trump really is; "south of the Rio Grande, very few Mexicans celebrate their country's victory over the invading French army on May 5, 1862," explains Public Radio International. Then there is the fact that the Trump Tower Grill didn't even sell taco bowls at the time of the tweet. There is also the question of if Trump actually loves Hispanics (he sure doesn't seem to!). And finally, there is his placemat, which, uh, appears to be "a bikini-clad photo of his ex-wife, Marla Maples."
In the summer of 2018, Trump used his platform as one of the most powerful men in the world to attack a small farm-to-table restaurant in Lexington, Virginia. The Red Hen Restaurant had previously asked Trump's then-press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, to leave the establishment, citing her work for an "inhumane and unethical" administration. The restaurant's actions ignited a firestorm about the refusal of service, and Trump — a self-described germaphobe who famously prefers to eat at fast food restaurants — couldn't resist weighing in.
As I wrote in 2016, "Trump has been ranting online about wind farms for even longer than he's been ranting about Hillary Clinton." This 2014 tweet encapsulates his hated of wind turbines, which he apparently believes are killing "our bald eagles." And while eagles do sometimes die from wind turbines, Trump has inflated the numbers to serve his point. (It's at least better than his latest tactic, which has been to assert, utterly erroneously, that wind turbines cause noise-induced cancer.)
Plot twist: Fox News won.
Asked who, exactly, had published the "big story" claiming that Trump caused traffic jams with his gas prices, Trump later said "The Palm Beach Post." The Post subsequently published its own investigation ("I didn't remember The Palm Beach Post writing any story that blamed Trump for creating traffic jams," wrote columnist Frank Cerabino), concluding that Trump had read a story headlined "low gas prices may cause heaviest traffic since '05," which "never mentions Trump." "So that's all it takes to be labeled 'fake,'" concluded Cerabino. "A news story that points out that lower gas prices may bring more holiday traffic. Somehow, Trump sees a sinister subtext, making it all about him."
Narrator voice: Obama did not.
It's a pen. Because she's a journalist.
Trump's book, The America We Deserve, only contained "fleeting mention" of Osama Bin Laden, and was published after the al-Qaeda leader was "already one of the world's most wanted terrorists," The New York Times swiftly corrected. Added The Associated Press, "There was nothing original or clairvoyant in the reference to bin Laden in Trump's 2000 book."
Uh, that's not how it works. "Even on a day when it is colder than average where you live, the world as a whole is frequently warmer than average," The New York Times explains. July 2019, for example, was the hottest month ever recorded on the planet.
Three years after this tweet, the Doomsday clock — which atomic scientists use to estimate how close we are to nuclear Armageddon — ticked to just two and a half minutes from "midnight," or doomsday. Why? Trump.
Trump is never one to ignore a conspiracy theory, and this is somehow a conspiracy theory on top of a conspiracy theory.
To explain this one, we're going to have to revisit one of the rare tweets Trump decided to delete. In 2016, then-candidate Trump posted a picture of Hillary Clinton with the words "most corrupt candidate ever!" written next to her face in a red six-pointed star. To be clear, the anti-Semitic connotation wasn't even subtle — the background of the image was a pile of money — and the picture had even reportedly originated on a right-wing white nationalist message board. Trump's team nevertheless briefly doubled-down on the image, with social media manager Daniel Scavino Jr. claiming the Star of David-like symbol was actually a "sheriff's badge." Trump, meanwhile, took aim at #Frozen.
Remember the good old days, when the biggest news story was Trump's unfounded allegations of voter fraud? Shortly after his inauguration, Trump claimed he would ask for a "major investigation" into voter fraud, despite many experts saying there was no evidence that anything of the sort took place in 2016. Even more curious, though, was the fact that Trump's insistence on the voter fraud investigation came just hours after CNN's Jake Tapper went on air to challenge the White House to provide proof of its claims. Here are six other times Trump's tweets seemed to be in direct response to cable news segments.
There were no tapes.
That didn't age well.
Way back in 2012, when Trump had nothing better to do than get in Twitter fights with other celebrities, he launched a feud against Cher, who said she wouldn't shop at Macy's anymore due to the store carrying the "racist" Apprentice host's brand. "RACIST CRETIN, WHO'D LIE LIKE 'HIS RUG' TO GET SOME CHEAP PRESS!" she blasted. Trump resorted to attacking the singer's appearance in return.
In 2016, Trump and his Republican primary opponent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, got into a public fight over their wives. Things started off badly, when the super PAC Make America Awesome tried to sway Mormon voters against Trump by tweeting a picture of a scantly-clad Melania with the text "Meet Melania Trump, your next first lady. Or you could support Ted Cruz on Tuesday." Trump responded by retweeting a Twitter user who had posted an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz next to a picture of his wife. Trump later called the retweet a mistake and claimed "if I had to do it again, I wouldn't have sent it," although, as you can see, he also never took it down.
Alas, you're going to have to use your imagination here; the video included in this tweet was removed by Twitter after Warner Music Group filed a copyright violation complaint. Previously, Trump had uploaded a video set to Canadian rock band Nickleback's song "Photograph," in which the picture held up by lead singer Chad Kroeger in the music video was replaced by a picture of former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter Biden, golfing with a "Ukraine gas exec." Really!
In 2017, Judge James Robart of the Federal District Court in Seattle reversed Trump's "Muslim ban," sparking the ire of the president. Robart, though, is not a so-called judge; he is a judge, one described as a "mainstream" Republican who was appointed by President George W. Bush. This is not the only time Trump slammed a judge who didn't sit right with him; the then-candidate was condemned by both the right and the left in 2016 for making racist comments about U.S. District Judge Gonzalo Curiel. In that case, Trump alleged that Curiel's "Mexican heritage" would prevent him from being fair and unbiased.
Does this really need a comment at this point?
Here are 60 additional appalling things Trump has said about women over the years.
Trump's appearance-based insults for women reached another low in October of last year, when he called porn star Stormy Daniels "horseface" (and yes, that's even considering the time he called Carly Fiorina's face unelectable). Daniels' lawyer, Michael Avenatti, hit back, calling Trump a "disgusting misogynist" while Daniels tweeted, "Ladies and Gentlemen, may I present your president. In addition to his ... umm ... shortcomings, he has demonstrated his incompetence, hatred of women, and lack of self control on Twitter AGAIN! And perhaps a penchant for bestiality."
Way back in September 2016, Trump praised former Apprentice realty TV villain Omarosa Manigault Newman as an "amazing" and "wonderful person," a "star" who "has done so much for me with the African American community, with communities generally." Ah, how quickly things sour. By late 2017, Trump's only black senior adviser was fired for actions including bringing her wedding party onto White House grounds for an unauthorized photo shoot. Manigault Newman went on the offensive after that, writing a tell-all book and claiming the president uses the N-word. Trump subsequently branded her a "crazed, crying lowlife" and dismissed her as a "dog."
In December 2017, multiple women came forward with allegations that Trump sexually assaulted them in the years before he became president, prompting New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D) to call for Trump to resign. The president responded by suggestively claiming on Twitter that Gillibrand would have done "anything" to get campaign contributions from him. "It was a sexist smear attempting to silence my voice, and I will not be silenced on this issue," Gillibrand said in response.
This tweet manages somehow to be homophobic and sexist at the same time.
There is a shocking level of viciousness and cruelty to Trump's tweets about Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, whom he chose to attack "rather than deal with his health-care bill seemingly on death's door," as The Daily Beast wrote at the time. Then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later defended Trump's sexist line of attack on his critic, claiming it was simply "fighting fire with fire."
Wait, wait, I think I've heard this one before.
You know who else characterized the press as the "enemy of the people?" Stalin, Mao, Hitler...
Can a war be started by a tweet? Only time will tell!
"In a tweet Friday, President Trump revealed a detailed aerial image of an Iranian launchpad, an unusual disclosure that may have confirmed the United States is violating Iran's airspace to spy on its missile program," wrote The Washington Post, adding: "The image Trump tweeted Friday is almost certainly highly classified, experts said, and bears markings that resemble those made by intelligence analysts." Whoops.
Twelve people were killed and 11 others injured when two gunmen opened fire on the newsroom of the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper in France, and this is what Trump has to say.
And how's that going, by the way?
Putin denies he meddled in our elections? Well that settles it, then!
Really let this video — tweeted while Trump was president of the United States — sink in. CNN immediately bashed the clip, calling it "juvenile" and claiming it incited violence against journalists. Added BuzzFeed News, "it is not clear how the president became aware of the clip," which had formerly circulated on Reddit's r/The_Donald.
Trump's tweet refers to Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), who are also known as the "squad." While it's true Omar was born in Somalia, she has lived in the U.S. as a citizen since age 12; Ocasio-Cortez was born in New York, Pressley in Cincinnati, and Tlaib in Detroit. Trump's decision to tell four American citizens to "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime-infested places from which they came" seemingly hinges instead on the fact that all four are women of color. Ocasio-Cortez hit back on Twitter, writing "Mr. President, the country I 'come from,' and the country we all swear to, is the United States ... You are angry because you can't conceive of an America that includes us."
On November 29, 2017, Trump retweeted three graphic videos originally shared by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain's extremist, far-right, anti-immigrant Britain First group. Described by The Guardian's Brendan Cox as "a group of hate preachers," Britain First is "dedicated to driving hatred chiefly against the Muslim community of our country." The most disturbing of the videos shared with Trump's 4.5 million followers showed a teenager being pushed off a water tower in Alexandria, Egypt; he later died of his injuries. At least one of the videos — supposedly showing a Muslim immigrant attacking a Dutch boy on crutches — was later deemed to be fake. The White House defended sharing the videos anyway, claiming "whether it's … a real video, the threat is real and that is what the president is talking about." Prime Minister Theresa May rebuked Trump for the retweets, and the president later offered on Good Morning Britain: "If you are telling me they're horrible people, horrible, racist people, I would certainly apologize if you'd like me to do that."
Just weeks before the 2016 election, The Washington Post published shocking audio of Trump lewdly bragging about groping women while on the set of Access Hollywood in 2005. Trump responded that evening by posting a rare apology on Twitter in the form of a video statement: "I said it, I was wrong, and I apologize," he said. In typical Trump fashion, he also combatively added that his scandal was nothing like that of President Bill Clinton's, and took the opportunity to claim his opponent, Hillary Clinton, "bullied, attacked, shamed, and intimidated [Bill Clinton's] victims." It later came out that the Access Hollywood tape so disturbed Republican leadership that some reportedly discussed swapping Trump and Mike Pence on the GOP ticket.
Trump initially began stoking racist conspiracy theories about President Barack Obama's birth certificate in 2010, although his claims grew louder and more public throughout 2011. Even after Obama ultimately released his long-form birth certificate in April 2011, Trump continued to raise questions about the legitimacy of the first black president, claiming in this 2012 tweet more than a year later that the birth certificate was a forgery. Trump's long involvement with birtherism even became a 2016 campaign issue, with Trump ultimately giving a 40-second long speech to confirm he believed Obama was a legitimate citizen of the U.S.