In his first few months in office, Donald Trump has split public opinion like no other president before him. However, a new poll shows that a majority of voters are united in the belief that the president, who has remained vocal on Twitter during his time in office, needs to stop tweeting.
According to a new poll by Politico, a vast majority of voters, 69 percent, say that President Trump uses Twitter too much. Furthermore, 59 percent of those polled say that the president’s frequent use of the social network is a bad thing, with a majority of voters agreeing that Trump’s often controversial tweets are damaging to the country’s national security.
Perhaps most surprisingly, however, even the president’s own supporters feel that he uses Twitter too much. When polled, 53 percent of Republican respondents agreed that Trump uses Twitter far too much. That said, on the Republican side, 41 percent of voters believe that his use of the social network is a good thing, with only 37 percent seeing it as bad. Quite predictably, a large majority of Democratic voters and those who supported Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election view the president’s tweeting habits unfavorably.
President Trump regularly uses his personal Twitter account to respond to events relating to his presidency. According to CNN, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said on Tuesday that the president’s tweets are indeed official statements from the administration, despite the fact that he’s regularly asked to clarify their meaning by members of the press.
“The President is the President of the United States, so they’re considered official statements by the President of the United States,” Spicer said when asked about how tweets from the president should be read. “The President is the most effective messenger on his agenda, and the same people critiquing his use of it now critiqued it during the election and it turned out pretty well for him.”
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In the past, White House aides and Republican leaders have tried to downplay the significance of the president’s comments on social media. However, polling shows that more and more Americans are now turning to the president’s Twitter account as a direct channel of communication with his administration. The president’s campaign account @realDonaldTrump currently has over 31 million followers on the social network, whilst the official White House account @POTUS has just over 18 million followers.
“The words of the president matter whether they’re spoken, written in a press release or sent out in a Tweet,” said Ryan Williams, a political communications consultant and spokesman for former Republican candidate Mitt Romney. “Whatever the leader of the free world says and does is important and has meaning to it.”
The president himself took to Twitter in order to defend his use of the social media platform, blaming the mainstream media for undermining his comments made on Twitter.
“The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
As former FBI Director James Comey is set to testify publically before Congress on Thursday for the first time since President Trump fired him last month, reports suggest that the president will use Twitter to rebut Comey’s testimony during the hearing.
“I was just talking to some White House officials this morning and their view is that the president himself wants to be the messenger, his own warrior, his own lawyer, his own spokesman,” Robert Costa from the Washington Post said. “The president is expected to be tweeting on Thursday in response to Comey, not to stay quiet during the testimony, because he himself wants to be the one driving the process.”
[Featured Image by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images]