Speed Reads

Trump tweets

Here's how Trump's staff tries to keep him off Twitter

While President Trump was still in Europe, the White House floated the idea that all of his tweets would be vetted by lawyers before being sent out into the Twitterverse, and maybe they were encouraged by his lack of tweeting while abroad. When he came back to the White House, however, the id-tweeting started back up immediately, and despite growing pleas from his legal team, the idea of prescreening Trump's tweets has obviously not covfefe yet. Despite orders from his lawyers and begging from his aides, Trump has made clear "that he fully intends to stick to his favorite means of communication," The New York Times reports. Nevertheless, they persist:

Mr. Trump's aides, especially his White House counsel, Donald F. McGahn II, have long implored the president to cut down on his tweeting, especially about the Russia investigations. But Mr. McGahn is not perceived as a peer by Mr. Trump, unlike [outside lawyer Marc E.] Kasowitz, whom the president respects for building a successful business. White House aides hope that Mr. Kasowitz, who has advised Mr. Trump for years, can get through to the president — and that if Mr. Kasowitz leads a vigorous public defense, the president may not feel the need to do it himself. ...

The best way to keep Mr. Trump off Twitter, advisers said, is to keep him busy. During his foreign trip, he was occupied 12 to 15 hours a day, seldom left alone to fulminate over the Russian investigation, and given less unstructured time to watch television — although he did tune in to CNN International and fumed privately that it was even more hostile to him than the domestic network. It helped, aides said, that Melania Trump, a sometimes moderating force who has largely remained in New York since the inauguration, accompanied him on the trip. [The New York Times]

During the presidential campaign, Trump's tweeting was a political liability at times, but now it's a legal problem. You can read more about Trump's 140-character self-imposed legal jeopardy at The New York Times.