While it was not the first time Donald Trump has been accused of making contradictory statements, today the president blatantly refuted a public statement he made only three days prior. Not just in terms of a changed perspective, but in terms of having said it at all.
On Wednesday, June 27, in an all caps tweet, Donald Trump called upon House Republicans to pass a bill known as Goodlatte II. On Saturday, June 30, Trump stated that he’d never done any such thing. A comparison of both immigration statements shows that the president appears to be at odds with himself, or potentially confused about exactly what he has been saying in his often consequential tweets.
Slate recently reported on the president’s contradiction of self. Meanwhile Twitter users began taking Trump to task on his observable goof. Many began asserting that Trump in fact does not write all of his own tweets. In May of 2018, the Boston Globe reported on Trump’s Twitter team. The report provided characteristics of which tweets were written by the president himself, and which were drafted by Donald Trump’s communications team. In fact, the report even mentioned the inclusion of intentional grammatical errors and disconnected thoughts when attempting to mimic the speaking style of the president.
As to whether Trump’s Wednesday tweet, Saturday tweet, or either tweet were genuinely penned by the president himself, or by staff, is currently a matter of speculation.
Verbal and written communication, an important facet of being a political leader, has been a source of criticism for Repubublican presidents pre-dating Donald Trump. George W. Bush, who served as president from 2001 until 2008, was often taken to task on his verbal faux pas, including one in particular delivered to a crowd in Florence, South Carolina.
“Rarely is the question asked: Is our children learning?”
Donald Trump, on the other hand, has given Bush a run for his money, in terms of potentially offending the pet peeves of English teachers across America. Bloomberg blasted Trump for a quote he delivered during a speech in July of 2016 about an Obama-era nuclear deal with Iran.
“Look, having nuclear — my uncle was a great professor and scientist and engineer, Dr. John Trump at MIT; good genes, very good genes, OK, very smart, the Wharton School of Finance, very good, very smart — you know, if you’re a conservative Republican, if I were a liberal, if, like, OK, if I ran as a liberal Democrat, they would say I’m one of the smartest people anywhere in the world — it’s true! — but when you’re a conservative Republican they try — oh, do they do a number — that’s why I always start off: Went to Wharton, was a good student, went there, went there, did this, built a fortune — you know I have to give my life credentials all the time, because we’re a little disadvantaged — but you look at the nuclear deal, the thing that really bothers me — it would have been so easy, and it’s not as important as these lives are — nuclear is powerful; my uncle explained that to me many, many years ago, the power and that was 35 years ago; he would explain the power of what’s going to happen and he was right, who would have thought?”
Linguists and politicians across the country seemed perplexed as to what such a quote meant in regard to Trump’s nuclear policy. It was neither the first time, nor the last time Trump’s communication was called into question as being particularly confusing. Whether contradicting himself, fellow politicians, speaking in broken sentences which seem to intersect with one another, or delivering comparatively conventional speeches, Trump is a president whose style of public comment will always spark debate among both supporters and critics.