Donald Trump’s daily tweets never fail to provoke responses numbering in the thousands, but Trump perhaps unintentionally posted one of his most provocative tweets since he took office on Tuesday night — a tweet in which he appeared to admit that he is a spy.
While Trump’s intentions in posting Tuesday’s tweet remain uncertain, he likely did not deliberately confess to being a spy. But the wording of the tweet coming in midst of the investigation into possible collusion between his presidential campaign and Russia, and widespread suspicion that Trump is controlled by the Russian government — his Democratic opponent Hillary Clinton derided him as a “puppet” of Russian President Vladimir Putin — Trump’s Twitter post calling himself a spy generated hundreds of incredulous Twitter responses.
Trump posted the tweet as a comment on the case of Andrew Brunson, an American Christian evangelist who has lived in Turkey for 23 years, but for the past 18 months has been detained — and is now on trial — in that country on charges that he aided the July 2016 coup against Turkish President Recep Erdogan, according to a New York Times report.
Brunson says that he is innocent.
“I’ve never done something against Turkey. I love Turkey. I’ve been praying for Turkey for 25 years,” he told the news agency Reuters.
Brunson’s cause has been taken up by Christian evangelicals in the United States, who claim that Brunson “is on trial for his Christian faith,” according to the Christian Broadcasting Network. White evangelicals form the core of Trump’s political base, with about 80 percent voting for him in the 2016 election. According to a recent poll (via Newsweek), 75 percent of white evangelical Christians continue to support Trump despite a series of sex scandals engulfing him, the Atlantic reports.
That support is perhaps why Trump took to Twitter to comment on Brunson’s case — including the line, “They call him a Spy, but I am more a Spy than he is.” Why Trump capitalized the word “spy” remans unclear.
Pastor Andrew Brunson, a fine gentleman and Christian leader in the United States, is on trial and being persecuted in Turkey for no reason. They call him a Spy, but I am more a Spy than he is. Hopefully he will be allowed to come home to his beautiful family where he belongs!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
MSNBC host and former senatorial aide Lawrence O’Donnell weighed in.
Finally. The Trump confession. In writing. "I am more of a Spy than he is." https://t.co/TUkHJ6jIol
— Lawrence O'Donnell (@Lawrence) April 18, 2018
As did Hollywood screenwriter Zach Heltzel.
I worked on the story of Donald Trump being a Russian spy for over a year and he just…tweeted it out. https://t.co/GeKnPJzlmN
— Zach Heltzel (@zachheltzel) April 18, 2018
The group Citizens For Ethics could barely believe what Trump had tweeted, apparently.
"I am more a Spy than he is" might not be the phrase you want to use while your campaign is reportedly under investigation for colluding with a foreign nation https://t.co/J2fb7GHD9i
— Citizens for Ethics (@CREWcrew) April 18, 2018
Here is a sampling of the numerous other Twitter replies to Trump’s “confession” that he is a spy.
Donald Trump’s spy name is “Maxwell Not Smart”.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) April 18, 2018
In the past 12 hours Donald Trump has:
– Confessed to being a spy
– Announced Barbara Bush died a year ago
– Accused California of civil war
– Admitted he sent a guy to North Korea who's not even confirmed as Secretary of State
– Accused a porn star of faking a police sketch
— Palmer Report (@PalmerReport) April 18, 2018
FUN FACT: Donald Trump has only told the truth two times while serving as President, and both times were accidents
Truth 1: when he admitted to firing Comey over Russia on TV
Truth 2: when he admitted to being a spy (for Russia) on Twitter
— Treason Memes (@treasonstickers) April 18, 2018
Seems like @realdonaldtrump would like the world to stop talking about Barbara Bush thus the crazy ‘spy’ tweet
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) April 18, 2018
— m i t h (@ManInTheHoody) April 18, 2018
"…but I am more a Spy than he is." Did I read that right? Our #POTUS is the most tone deaf person on Earth.
— Rev. Donk Bonkers™ (@ReverendBonkers) April 18, 2018
Donald Trump: The Spy Who Shagged Us
— MKGenest (@MKGenest) April 18, 2018
Journalists all over America:
“We’ve been working on the ‘Trump is a Russian spy’ story since 2016 and he just..he just tweeted it out” https://t.co/0GhtUbnWMr
— Brian Trachuk (@BTrachuk) April 18, 2018
Even an account purporting to be Boris Badenov and Natasha Fatale, the Russian spies from the classic Bullwinkle cartoon series, couldn’t resist registering an opinion.
Dear Comrade President, I would not say "I am more a spy than he is" when the Secret Police may be investigating you! Your friends Boris & Natasha from Idaho which is definitely not in Russia. pic.twitter.com/6NeEjerXBa
— Boris & Natasha (@BorisNatasha13) April 18, 2018
On Monday, a Turkish court heard Brunson’s tearful plea, delivered in fluent Turkish, to be freed. However, the Hurriey Daily News reports that the court ruled he should be returned to prison anyway, saying that the American pastor, who is indeed accused of espionage as well as aiding banned political groups in Turkey, poses a flight risk.
Trump has already tweeted 641 times in the year 2018, and 3,100 times since January 20, 2017, the day he was inaugurated, according to a count by the online Trump Twitter Archive. Wednesday, April 18, is the 454th day of his term.