Donald Trump, Internet troll

Donald Trump has always had some Internet troll in him. He loves to provoke. He often traffics in h...

Posted: Nov 29, 2018 8:39 AM
Updated: Nov 29, 2018 8:39 AM

Donald Trump has always had some Internet troll in him. He loves to provoke. He often traffics in half-truths (or less). He's a big fan of memes.

But of late -- and with regard to Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation in particular -- the President is embracing his inner troll. Consider how Trump spent his Wednesday morning.

Bullying

Companies

Continents and regions

Cyberbullying

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Internet and WWW

Investigations

Political Figures - US

Politics

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

Social media

Societal issues

Society

Technology

Twitter

Violence in society

First, he retweeted this from the Twitter handle "@The_Trump_Train," which bills itself this way: "Welcome to the #TrumpTrain, the greatest political movement in history. Proud American. RT'd by @realDonaldTrump *Fan account*"

The image features a series of people behind prison bars -- including special counsel Mueller, former President Barack Obama and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein -- with the words, "Now that Russian collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin?" written across the picture.

Then, Trump retweeted another tweet from the same account that read: "Illegals can get up to $3,874 a month under Federal Assistance program. Our social security checks are on average $1200 a month. RT if you agree: If you weren't born in the United States, you should receive $0 assistance." (Fact check: Not true!)

Then, Trump retweeted a set of month-old tweets from conservative commentators -- Dan Bongino and Charlie Kirk -- featuring Hillary Clinton cracking a joke after Recode's Kara Swisher mixed up Eric Holder and Cory Booker. "I know they all look alike," Clinton joked of the two African-American men.

The common thread on all of this Trump Twitter activity? Conservative troll work. All of these notions -- that the Mueller probe is illegal and the people involved in its formation should be jailed, the false claim about the sort of government aid an undocumented immigrant is eligible to receive, the implied media toleration of racism by Democratic politicians -- have been kicking around the fever swamps of the conservative Internet right for a while now.

Trump has done this before. In December 2017, he retweeted an image showing the "CNN" logo squashed on his shoe. A few months earlier, Trump drew national headlines by retweeting an image of a "Trump train" running over a person who had the CNN logo for a head. There are other examples but, well, you get the idea.

"I love Twitter.... it's like owning your own newspaper--- without the losses," Trump tweeted in 2012.

"Tweeting is like a typewriter — when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show," Trump told Fox Business Network in 2017. "I doubt I would be here if weren't for social media, to be honest with you." He added: "When somebody, says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it. The other way, I would never be get the word out."

So why does Trump use his immense social media power to tweet out fringe right memes and other ephemera from the dark depths of the Internet? Because, well, that's who he is. He believes himself to be the victim of an unnamed group of elites who have laughed at him behind their hands for his entire life, who have turned the wheels of power against him and who have tried like hell to make him not matter.

The presidency and his Twitter account -- and, yes, I think he believes them to be of somewhat equal importance -- allow Trump to both level the playing field and make his enemies feel the sting of his wrath. That his whole vanquishing-your-enemies thing is not presidential or not the sort of behavior any of us would teach our children is of no concern to Trump. He does it because it makes him feel good and, because, he believes it works.

In the wake of a firestorm caused by Trump's attacks on MSNBC's Mika Brzezinski for allegedly "bleeding badly from a face-lift" last summer, the President defended himself -- via Twitter -- by arguing:

"The FAKE & FRAUDULENT NEWS MEDIA is working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media - but remember, I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media. I had to beat #FakeNews, and did. We will continue to WIN!"

He added: "My use of social media is not Presidential - it's MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!"

Which, honestly, says it all. Donald Trump is a president who acts like an Internet troll. He finds nuggets, shapes them to his liking and then shares them. Facts, context and fairness are secondary concerns -- if they are concerns at all.

The big difference between Trump and your average Internet troll? He has 56 million followers. Which makes what he is doing very, very dangerous.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 256827

Reported Deaths: 5638
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto17257180
Hinds16331322
Harrison13567194
Rankin10804212
Jackson10453184
Lee8864141
Madison8314164
Jones6434112
Forrest6009120
Lauderdale5902186
Lowndes5405116
Lafayette499193
Lamar488565
Washington4803124
Bolivar3997109
Oktibbeha395381
Panola372379
Pontotoc367853
Monroe3558105
Warren354898
Union345960
Marshall344066
Neshoba3396152
Pearl River3301100
Leflore3041107
Lincoln298085
Sunflower286671
Hancock274459
Tate273162
Alcorn265453
Itawamba263759
Pike263778
Scott248046
Yazoo247056
Prentiss246552
Tippah243050
Copiah242749
Coahoma241054
Simpson236467
Leake231765
Grenada219471
Covington214672
Marion213073
Adams207070
Wayne202932
Winston201666
George199839
Attala194259
Newton193444
Tishomingo189361
Chickasaw185044
Jasper172736
Holmes168767
Clay159833
Stone144721
Tallahatchie141934
Clarke139862
Calhoun136521
Smith121424
Yalobusha117834
Walthall112336
Noxubee110822
Greene110429
Montgomery109834
Carroll104821
Lawrence102917
Perry102631
Amite98426
Webster92824
Tunica87321
Claiborne86625
Jefferson Davis85326
Humphreys83124
Benton82023
Kemper77620
Quitman6968
Franklin66715
Choctaw60913
Wilkinson58725
Jefferson54919
Sharkey43117
Issaquena1596
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 426543

Reported Deaths: 6126
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson62752920
Mobile30551554
Madison27303186
Tuscaloosa20835267
Montgomery19192305
Shelby18693114
Baldwin16513183
Lee12603101
Morgan12321113
Etowah11805168
Calhoun11206200
Marshall10236107
Houston8681148
Cullman8094105
Limestone807474
Elmore7923101
DeKalb771597
Lauderdale763183
St. Clair7599120
Talladega6224108
Walker5930174
Jackson583741
Colbert535473
Blount532083
Autauga522755
Coffee446256
Dale399781
Franklin368148
Chilton337865
Russell335910
Covington330168
Escambia321342
Dallas305196
Chambers288669
Clarke283133
Tallapoosa2630107
Pike251329
Marion247350
Lawrence245247
Winston229035
Bibb217047
Geneva203335
Marengo200829
Pickens196931
Hale177442
Barbour173836
Fayette171226
Butler170758
Cherokee160930
Henry155021
Monroe147317
Randolph141535
Washington138326
Clay127045
Crenshaw120244
Cleburne118423
Lamar118419
Macon116835
Lowndes111535
Wilcox103621
Bullock99728
Perry98219
Conecuh95120
Sumter89526
Greene76223
Coosa60515
Choctaw51524
Out of AL00
Unassigned00
Tupelo
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 54° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 41°
Columbus
Clear
47° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 43°
Oxford
Partly Cloudy
43° wxIcon
Hi: 52° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 39°
Starkville
Clear
45° wxIcon
Hi: 55° Lo: 41°
Feels Like: 42°
WTVA Radar
WTVA Temperatures
WTVA Severe Weather