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Trump tweets
November 30, 2018

Early Friday, tweeting from Argentina, President Trump laid out a breezy new version of his interactions with Russia during the 2016 presidential election, following revelations from longtime lawyer Michael Cohen that Trump's company was negotiating the construction of a Trump Tower Moscow until mid-June 2016, that Cohen had updated him regularly on the progress of those talks, and reports that Cohen had proposed to Kremlin officials gifting Russian President Vladimir Putin a $50 million penthouse in the building.

Throughout 2016 and 2017, Trump had denied having any business dealings with Russia; on Thursday afternoon, he claimed Cohen is lying but said "there would have been nothing wrong if I did do it," because "when I'm running for president, that doesn't mean I'm not allowed to do business." Trump elaborated in his new tweets:

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation will probably eventually show how much of Trump's new story is true. But it certainly seems false that he talked about exploring deals with Russia on the campaign trail. This is from his second debate with Hillary Clinton:

Negotiating with Russia probably was "very legal." Keeping it secret? Not "very cool." Peter Weber

November 29, 2018

President Trump railed against Special Counsel Robert Mueller's investigation on Thursday night, hours after his former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty to lying to the Senate Intelligence Committee about Trump's business dealings in Russia.

Trump tweeted a quote he attributed to lawyer and academic Alan Dershowitz, who reportedly said Special Counsel Robert Mueller has "no authority to be a roving Commissioner. I don't see any evidence of crimes." He went on to call Mueller's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election "an illegal hoax that should be ended immediately. Mueller refuses to look at the real crimes on the other side."

In a separate tweet, Trump quoted Fox News host Gregg Jarrett, who defended Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting at Trump Tower in 2016 with Russians who promised compromising information on Hillary Clinton. "'This demonstrates the [sic] Robert Mueller and his partisans have no evidence, not a whiff of collusion, between Trump and the Russians. Russian project legal. Trump Tower meeting (son Don), perfectly legal. He wasn't involved with hacking.' Gregg Jarrett. A total Witch Hunt!" Trump did not elaborate on what "this" is and how it proves there's "not a whiff of collusion." The president is now in Argentina for the G20 summit. Catherine Garcia

November 27, 2018

President Trump tweeted on Tuesday that he's "very disappointed" with General Motors, and is considering withholding subsidies from the company.

On Monday, GM announced it is closing five facilities in the U.S. and Canada, eliminating 14,000 jobs, because sedans aren't selling as well as SUVs and trucks. In response, Trump tweeted: "Very disappointed with General Motors and their CEO, Mary Barra, for closing plants in Ohio, Michigan, and Maryland. Nothing being closed in Mexico & China. The U.S. saved General Motors, and this is the THANKS we get! We are now looking at cutting all @GM subsidies, including ... for electric cars. General Motors made a big China bet years ago when they built plants there (and in Mexico) — don't think that bet is going to pay off. I am here to protect America's Workers!"

A person familiar with the matter told CNN that GM is not sure what subsidies Trump is referring to, because the $7,500 plug-in tax credit it receives goes to the consumer, not GM. Catherine Garcia

October 26, 2018

Someone has sent at least 10 explosive devices to prominent Americans (and CNN), and the only apparent thing they have in common is their criticism of President Trump, with Trump typically making the criticism mutual. Early Friday morning, Trump took to Twitter to wonder why news organizations and "others" with similar First Amendment rights can criticize the president "at will," then turn around and say "it's just not Presidential!" when he criticizes the "fake news" media, calling news organizations stuff like "enemies of the people."

Many of us wake up with deep or imponderable questions in the middle of the night. Of course, Trump has a history of changing his criteria for what's fair and what isn't on Twitter, as seen, for example, in this tweet from exactly seven years ago slamming former President Barack Obama for hitting the campaign trail.

So if a Democrat becomes the 46th president, expect Future Trump to be upset that President Warren is mildly upset at Fox News. Peter Weber

September 5, 2018

On Twitter Wednesday evening, President Trump reacted to the senior member of his administration who anonymously penned a scathing New York Times op-ed about Trump's competency and agenda.

In the piece, the official describes Trump as acting "in a manner that is detrimental to the health of our republic," someone who "is not moored to any discernible first principles that guide his decision making." This person said other members of the administration have discussed invoking the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office, but "no one wanted to precipitate a constitutional crisis."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders quickly released a statement blasting the anonymous author, and Trump told reporters the mystery source is "probably failing and probably here for all the wrong reasons." He didn't stop there — Trump then tweeted Fox News' footage of his off-the-cuff remarks, with the caption, "The Failing New York Times!" followed by a one-word message: "TREASON?" It's a tweet that can be taken several different ways — was he assailing the anonymous source? Trolling Democrats so they could fire back, "You finally admitted it!" Honestly asking for someone to please define the word for him? Go ahead and make of it what you will. Catherine Garcia

August 31, 2018

President Trump's Twitter feed this week is a jumble of transcribed Fox News quotes, campaign endorsements, positive affirmations of economic data, and bizarre or false, often vitriolic attacks on the media, tech companies, and various members of the law enforcement community. What's going on? Three theories:

1. Trump's agitated about the Russia investigation: "The president's tweetstorm late this week reflects a certain agitation with the news swirling around him, according to people close to Trump, including a growing anxiety within the White House about the possibility of the 'I-word,'" impeachment, Ashely Parker reports at The Washington Post. Those tweets focus on the "Rigged Russia Witch Hunt" by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and various other Justice Department and FBI officials who, as The Atlantic's Natasha Bertrand points out, all have "extensive experience in probing money laundering and organized crime, particularly as they pertain to Russia."

2. Trump wants to reclaim the spotlight from McCain: As the late Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) was being eulogized on Thursday, "Trump aggressively tried to wrestle back the attention," tweeting about his 2016 victory, "fake news" — anything but McCain, Katie Rogers says at The New York Times. When McCain's body arrived in Washington, Trump was at a rally in Indiana, and when McCain is being celebrated by "virtually all of official Washington," Rogers and Michael Shear report, "Trump is expected to have retreated to Camp David, where White House aides hope he will contain his anger at the attention being lavished on Mr. McCain."

3. He's sprinting toward authoritarianism: Trump's tweets, Parker says, "are bound by one unifying theme: All of his perceived opponents are peddling false facts and only Trump can be trusted." NYU history professor Ruth Ben-Ghiat says claiming to "the only arbiter of truth" is the hallmark of "an authoritarian in the making or an authoritarian wannabe. ... When Donald Trump is starting to raise the specter of trying to fiddle with search engines and saying that they are rigged — this raises alarm bells in me as a scholar of authoritarianism." Peter Weber

August 30, 2018

President Trump went on an early-morning Twitter tirade against his favorite media punching bags Thursday, first claiming that CNN's "hatred and extreme bias" against him has "made them unable to function," and suggesting that AT&T fire Jeff Zucker ("Little Jeff Z") because "his ratings suck." Trump then said NBC News was actually "the worst," predicting that NBC News Chairman Andy Lack "is about to be fired (?) for incompetence" — the rumors are actually that he's in trouble due to Matt Lauer's sexual misconduct and other #MeToo scandals — and made a curious, apparently unsubstantiated claim that NBC News "fudged" the interview where Trump admitted on national TV that he fired FBI Director James Comey because of the Russia investigation.

Trump concluded by throwing "fake books" into the media bonfire and declaring that all media are the "Enemy of the People!" NBC News political director Chuck Todd seems to be subtweeting the president here, and suggesting you avert your eyes in embarrassment.

Certainly, taking the occasional break from the Twitter machine is good for everybody's mental health. Peter Weber

August 28, 2018

President Trump said on Twitter early Tuesday that he had typed his name into Google and was dismayed with what he saw, suggesting that the lack of good news about him at the top of the search engine's results is "rigged" and might be "illegal."

Another possibility is that Trump just had a historically bad week — several key allies or employees were either convicted of federal crimes or reached plea deals with prosecutors, his former lawyer swore in court that Trump had directed him to commit a federal crime, and intra-party nemesis Sen. John McCain managed, in his death, to provoke Trump into an ill-advised fit of pique followed by a soft capitulation.

But as they say, sometimes you have to make your own good news, so Trump tweeted next about the booming stock market and quoted Fox Business pundit Lou Dobbs about how great Trump has been for minorities. Take that, Google. Peter Weber

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