Donald Trump’s personal Twitter account remains active, even now that he has just been inaugurated as President of the United States. However, the official POTUS Twitter account has just been updated to confirm that the tweets posted do not come from Trump himself, but rather from someone who works closely with him as Director of Social Media — Dan Scavino Jr. Who is he, and what can people expect from the POTUS account with Scavino writing the tweets?
A report from the Independent has offered some insight into the kind of social media user Scavino supposedly is, adding some information on his background. A former golf caddy who first met Trump in 1990 at the tender age of 16, the future U.S. President reportedly told young Dan that “you’ll work for me one day,” and after Trump had purchased the golf club the teenager worked for, Scavino was promoted to manager by the time he reached his late-20s. He became Trump’s social media guru in 2016, and when the real estate magnate won last year’s elections, he had announced that Scavino would work in a similar capacity once he would take his seat as President.
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@DanScavino) January 20, 2017
In an interview with CNN in July 2016, Dan Scavino talked about how he reacts to the unflattering comments Donald Trump gets on Twitter, stressing his loyalty to his boss regardless of what’s said about him.
“I take it personal sometimes. He doesn’t deserve a lot of this crap that’s being said about him… It fires me up. It pisses me off, it really does, because I care about the man and I care about his family.”
The Independent, however, offered more revealing claims about Dan Scavino, suggesting that on his personal Twitter, Trump’s social media director retweeted several fake news posts. One such post included a video purportedly showing Syrian refugees in a pro-Islamic State rally in Germany, but actually depicting a protest against a German far-right organization. Further, Scavino has supposedly been sharing posts from conspiracy theory and fake news websites, including InfoWars, which is best-known as the site run by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones.
Although the Independent did not specify whether Dan Scavino shared the following stories on his Twitter account, the publication cited some examples of the fake news articles posted on InfoWars.
“Mr. Jones has also claimed vaccines are part of a ‘soft kill’ and ‘covert sterilization’ program intended to murder ‘massive numbers’ of children, that the government is trying to ‘encourage homosexuality with chemicals so that people don’t have children’, and that Michelle Obama is a man.”
Earlier this week, Donald Trump’s Twitter posts came under scrutiny when the first post on the POTUS Twitter account with Trump as president misspelled the word “honored” as “honered.” As Trump himself had posted his share of tweets with spelling errors, including his spelling of the word “unprecedented” as “unpresidented” in December, many had criticized the President for what seemed to be his latest social media faux pas. But with today’s announcement, it’s now been confirmed that the tweet came from Scavino, who deleted and re-posted the tweet after users had noticed the misspelling.
I am honored to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States! pic.twitter.com/BVtt7lSrlA
— President Trump (@POTUS) January 21, 2017
Spelling errors aside, the Independent went through two social media controversies involving Scavino that took place in the run-up to the 2016 presidential elections. In March 2016, Scavino shared a video on his personal Twitter account, claiming that Trump’s Republican rival Ted Cruz had an affair with CNN’s Amanda Carpenter, his former speechwriter. Both Cruz and Carpenter denied the allegations, with Cruz referring to the post as a “tabloid smear” from the Trump campaign.
A few months later, Dan Scavino was involved in another controversy involving his use of social media. As The Independent recalled, Donald Trump’s Twitter account shared an image of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, accompanied by the phrase “most corrupt candidate ever” and a Star of David, a symbolism that many construed as having anti-Semitic overtones. Scavino admitted to being responsible for the tweet, whose image came from 8chan‘s alt-right-oriented /pol/ message board, according to a July report from Mic.
[Featured Image by Olivier Doulier – Pool/Getty Images]