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.
MSNBC host and former senatorial aide Lawrence O’Donnell weighed in.
As did Hollywood screenwriter Zach Heltzel.
The group Citizens For Ethics could barely believe what Trump had tweeted, apparently.
Here is a sampling of the numerous other Twitter replies to Trump’s “confession” that he is a spy.
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.
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.