Speed Reads


Ex-labor secretary urges Donald Trump to stop being 'petty, thin-skinned, and vindictive' on Twitter

President-elect Donald Trump tweeted out some criticism of United Steelworkers Local 1999 president Chuck Jones less than a minute after Jones, who represents Carrier factory workers in Indianapolis, appeared on CNN's Erin Burnett OutFront to talk about how Trump had inflated the number of jobs being retained in Indiana. The chyron underneath him referenced a quote Jones gave to The Washington Post: "Trump 'lied his a** off'"

After Trump tweeted out that Jones "has done a terrible job," Burnett got Jones back on the phone. "That wasn't very damned nice, but with Donald Trump saying that, that must mean I'm doing a good job," he said, noting that Trump has tried to keep unions out of his hotels and casinos. "I don't put a whole hell of a lot of faith in whatever he says, because I just don't pay a hell of a lot of attention to him."

Former Labor Secretary Robert Reich was on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 an hour later, and he wasn't just being cute when he alluded to Donald Trump's steady diet of cable news: "Because Donald Trump is probably watching right now, let me just say, with all due respect, Mr. Trump, you are president-elect of the United States. You are looking and acting as if you are mean and petty, thin-skinned, and vindictive. Stop this. This is not a fireside chat, this is not what FDR did, this isn't lifting people up. This is actually penalizing people for speaking their minds."

Reich brought up not just the Jones tweet but also Trump's tweet-criticizing Boeing (right after its CEO said Trump was wrong about foreign trade), SNL, and individual journalists. "What you would like, Mr. Trump, is for no one — not a CEO, nobody on television, no journalist, nobody — to criticize you," he said — which to be fair, is probably a pretty universal sentiment. But Reich also noted the Trump-specific stakes: "Well, you are going to be president very shortly. You are going to have at your command not just Twitter but also the CIA, the IRS, the FBI. If you have this kind of thin-skinned vindictiveness attitude toward anybody who criticizes you, we are in very deep trouble, and sir, so are you." Watch below. Peter Weber