Donald Trump will use Twitter to make important policy announcements once he takes office on January 20. Sean Spicer, a Trump spokesman, said that Trump would make “bold use” of Twitter, according to the Chicago Tribune. Spicer claimed that the president-elect “gets results” when he uses Twitter.
Spicer’s suggestion that Trump will use Twitter as a primary means of communication with the public comes on the same day Trump claimed that computers are not safe. Just 19 days before his inauguration, Trump questioned Russia’s role in hacking and advised people not to think their computers are secure.
Spicer told an interviewer from ABC that Trump would continue to use social media and might even make major announcements on Twitter when he takes over the Oval Office. Trump has shown no sign of censoring himself on the micro-blogging site that helped make him so popular.
“I think it freaks the mainstream media out that he has this following of over 45-plus million people that follow him on social media, that he can have a direct conversation,” Spicer said. “Business as usual is over… There’s a new sheriff in town.”
Happy New Year to all, including to my many enemies and those who have fought me and lost so badly they just don't know what to do. Love!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 31, 2016
But Spicer’s statement that Trump will make major use of Twitter conflicts with Trump’s own claim that computers are not secure. While Twitter has allowed Trump to reach millions of ordinary people, the president-elect made it clear he does not trust computers.
“You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way,” Trump said, according to Al Jazeera.“Because I’ll tell you what: no computer is safe.”
Despite Trump’s famous use of Twitter to make campaign announcements, claim credit for good economic news and attack his critics, Trump claimed that computers simply cannot be secure. Though he acknowledged a lack of online security, Trump said it was “unfair” to say Russia was behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee.
Trump and his team have consistently rejected claims that Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin, were responsible for the DNC email hack or that Russian agents interfered in the election to help secure Donald Trump’s victory.
“I know a lot about hacking,” Trump told reporters. “And hacking is a very hard thing to prove, so it could be somebody else.”
Trump will meet with intelligence agencies in the coming days to discuss the issue of Russian hacking. Trump and his surrogates have criticized the intelligence community, particularly the CIA, for claiming Russia helped get Trump elected.
He also hinted that his team had previously unseen information that they would release in the coming days — “Maybe Tuesday or Wednesday.” It is impossible to know what information, if any, Trump could have that would change the intelligence community’s assessment.
Trump’s presidential transition team has done its best to move away from any potential Russian role in the election. Trump and his spokespersons have repeatedly said the country should “move on”. The Trump team has also cast doubt on the conclusions of the major intelligence agencies and criticized President Obama’s decision to expel Russian officials from the United States.
As president, Donald Trump will continue to use Twitter to communicate with the public. His election has not changed the frequency or tone of his tweets. His new year’s Twitter message specifically mentioned his “enemies” and sore losers.
Trump’s supporters and surrogates might praise his use of Twitter as an innovative way to engage directly with voters, but critics see Trump wasting time on social media while attacking his opponents in a very public forum. Whatever approach Trump will take to the presidency, he seems certain to continue sending unfiltered tweets and making instant headlines using Twitter.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]