Opinion: ‘Pay no attention to that strange man with the Twitter account’

On Monday, White House staffer Sebastian Gorka criticized the news media for paying attention to statements by the president of the United States on Twitter. “They are not policy,” Gorka told Chris Cuomo of NBC. “It’s not policy. It’s social media, Chris. It’s social media. You know the difference, right?”

Trump senior counselor Kellyanne Conway took a similar course, chastizing the media for “this obsession with covering everything he says on Twitter.” After it was pointed out to Conway that Twitter is the president’s “preferred method of communication with the American people,” Conway said “that’s not true.”

Yes. It is.

I have proof:

It’s downright bizarre, as if the Trump administration and President Trump are two independent entities, each operating in its own parallel universe. They’re describing a somewhat sane, somewhat rational chief executive, while the man himself insists on proving that he’s not. The examples go on and on.

Trump’s staff has spent months insisting that the Trump travel ban shouldn’t be called a travel ban and attacking media outlets that dared to use the term. “It’s not a travel ban, remember,” as Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly told Fox News last month. “It’s the travel pause.”

Trump insists it is:

Trump dismisses claims that Russia intervened in the election on his behalf as a hoax, and he has never acknowledged that mankind is contributing to climate change. Yet according to UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, Trump acknowledges both as fact. Haley also insists that it is administration policy that Russian should be punished for its electoral meddling, while the president himself yucks it up in the Oval Office with those very same Russians.

Last week, Defense Secretary James Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster were all insisting that Trump would publicly recommit the United States to Article 5 of the NATO treaty. Yet when the time came, Trump refused to do so, changing his speech without even bothering to notify his top three foreign policy experts.

This week, Trump attacked the U.S. Justice Department for withdrawing the initial travel ban and replacing it with a slightly more moderate version. He seemed unaware of the fact that the Justice Department works for him; that as president, he himself signed that second, revised travel ban; and that as president, he could withdraw that second version just by ordering that it be done.

The president attacked the mayor of London for his handling of a terror attack over the weekend. The acting U.S. ambassador to Great Britain lauded the mayor of London for his handling of the terror attack.

And while the president alienates allies with his “America First” message, his defense secretary was in Singapore telling Asian leaders something very different. “What a crummy world, if we all retreat inside our own borders,” Mattis said. “Like it or not, we are part of the world.”

Visiting in Australia on Monday, Tillerson took a similar course.

“I hope the fact that we are here demonstrates that it is certainly not this administration’s view or intention to somehow put at arm’s length the other important allies and partners in the world,” he said.

Gee, where would people ever get a crazy idea like that?

The conflicting signals over NATO’s mutual self-defense provision pose a particularly grave problem. McMaster, Tillerson and Mattis all say the United States is deeply committed to that obligation. Vice President Pence reiterated that in a speech Monday night, saying “Make no mistake, our commitment is unwavering,” the words that his boss refused to say.

But if and when the time comes when that “unwavering commitment” must be honored, if Russia sends troops into Estonia or Latvia or Poland, who makes the decision?

It is not McMaster, Tillerson, Mattis or Pence. It’s not the fictional Trump that his staff members are trying so desperately to create. It’s the crazy man with the Twitter feed. As he himself reminded us today, that Trump, the Twitter Trump, is the “honest and unfiltered” Trump. In the immortal words of Sean Spicer, “the tweets speak for themselves,” and what they tell us is deeply alarming.

Reader Comments 0

2228 comments
gotalife
gotalife

And they play partisan politics as usual.


Told ya.

td1234
td1234

@gotalife The Intel community is not political (so says the progressives) so it is the Dems playing partisan politics. 

td1234
td1234

"I have never been pressured or felt pressure to downplay or change intelligence or do anything immoral or unethical" DNI Coats and Adm. Rogers. 

Paul42
Paul42

@td1234 Which is not what was asked:  "Did the President ever ask you..."

Hold a closed-door hearing and get their testimony as part of the investigation.  

Kamchak
Kamchak

@Paul42

Oddly, Rogers refused to answer that question....   

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 

Did they say the line in unison?  Did they sing it, in harmony, perhaps?

Paul42
Paul42

@Kamchak

It's understandable.  He doesn't want to get into any questions in public forum that could lead to implications of classified information.  He may be taking a very broad view of the rules surrounding superior-subordinate private conversations.  Not much different than his decades of military training have imparted.

Again, get him in a closed-door session, with members who have appropriate clearances, and redo the questions.

Paul42
Paul42

@td1234

Oh for Pete's sake, how would YOU know what happened in a closed hearing discussing classified material?!!?

td1234
td1234

So we found out it was Obama administration person leaking to the press. 

Paul42
Paul42

@Kamchak

It's all he's got.

That, and he gets a fresh batch every morning.

td1234
td1234

@Kamchak @td1234 Really, did you just hear what Sen. Warner said about "former intel people" about memos? 


Obama folks

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234

Lying makes the baby Jesus cry.

Why do you hate the baby Jesus?

Do you hate the baby Jesus because you worship Satan?

Why do you worship Satan?   

td1234
td1234

@DownInAlbany Yep. It was clear to me and most sane people that the Coats and Rogers statements say the NY Times, WAPO and CNN is nothing more than spreading lies, propaganda and fake news perpetrated by Obama folks. 

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@td1234 @Kamchak Former, what about now?  Because they are the ones who are picking Trump apart bit by bit on a daily basis.  LOL

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Philo, pride of Milton County, voted Handel this morning.

Those of you in the 6th who still aren't sure, just tap the first name on the ballot and you're all good.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Just saw this below from DiA, will answer and need to step away for a bit:


So, the FACT that he does not live in the district is somehow "dumb?"  Geez


Again, the Daily Caller bases its assertion that Ossoff "lost" the debate on the basis of how he handled it when Karen Handel used her opportunity to ask Jon one (1) question, and that question was "who do you intend to vote for in the election"?

I'm sure to rabid partisans this was the most high-larious and cutting piece of political invective EVAH. But to those of us who've been watching those boring ads where the screechy Southie lady says "he doesn't even LIVE heeah!" it was just an eye-roller. And that's basically what Jon did. He paused for a second and gave his stock answer about his background of living in the Sixth, now living just five minutes away so he can be close to Emory where his fiance is busy saving lives, yadda yadda whogivsafuq, etc.

So yes. Claiming that was what "lost" Jon the debate is d-u-m-b.


/drive-by

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Visual_Cortex Of course, our RWers seem to avoid the question:  Why does GA law permit this?  And what does that tell you?

Kamchak
Kamchak

Warner is going for the throat right out of the gate.

LOL!

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

This is my first time commenting on this special election that is coming up but wow, this person Karen Handel actually said that she does not support a livable wage?  SMH


“This is an example of the fundamental difference between a liberal and a conservative: I do not support a livable wage. What I support is making sure that we have an economy that is robust with low taxes and less regulation.”

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@StraightNoChaser  I guess, by contrast, you have a problem with "...an economy that is robust with low taxes and less regulation.”?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@DownInAlbany @StraightNoChaser

Well show me one economy where that actually happens and I'll not have a problem with it.

In actual practice, making yuge tax cuts and telling businesses "have your way at it, lads!" winds up making a mess that Democrats have to clean up later.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany @StraightNoChaser Yes sweetie....  a livable wage is the path to provide that economy, proven time and time again.  And "less regulation" is just mere stupidity....smart regulation is what is needed. 

Kamchak
Kamchak

Rogers is explaining incidental collection.

BUSTED!

gotalife
gotalife

They want permanent authorization for Section 702 that busted the WH.

gotalife
gotalife

New FBI guy was christie's lawyer that kept him out of prison.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany @StraightNoChaser Except for them dang illegals, right?

You do know that the right to counsel does not mean the right to a specific attorney.  Conflicts do have to be addressed as well as ethical issues, right?  You aren't just knee jerking foolishness, right sweetie?

Lastly, the head of the FBI is NOT legal counsel to the President.  You do know that, right?

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@DownInAlbany @StraightNoChaser The best that money can buy.  Oh that's right Trump can even buy good counsel now because no one will touch him.  Just for the record though, the new FBI director should not be beholden to anyone because they are bond to that person financially and owes a favor.

ByteMe
ByteMe

@StraightNoChaser K&S is huge and worldwide.  Not a surprise that at some point they would do work for a company based in Russia.  And Rosneft is being blocked from working with ExxonMobil by ... Trump.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@DownInAlbany @StraightNoChaser And that is just to cover all the possible bases for the goal posts to be moved, although I probably should expect the unexpected (the Cardinal Fang directive)

StraightNoChaser
StraightNoChaser

@ByteMe @StraightNoChaser Is the blocking of Rosneft part of the sanctions that Obama administration put in place over Russian meddling in the election?  If so Trump has no choice but to block Rosneft from working. The only way can not block Rosneft is to remove the sanctions.