Tapper calls out 'insanity' in Trump's retweet

President Trump re-tweeted a meme featuring President Obama, Hillary Clinton and his own deputy attorney general, Rod Rosenstein, behind bars.

Posted: Nov 29, 2018 12:09 PM
Updated: Nov 29, 2018 12:40 PM

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.

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: 319115

Reported Deaths: 7353
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22246264
Hinds20612421
Harrison18342316
Rankin13855282
Jackson13666248
Madison10213224
Lee10050176
Jones8452167
Forrest7810153
Lauderdale7253242
Lowndes6488149
Lamar632288
Lafayette6295120
Washington5412136
Bolivar4833133
Panola4659110
Oktibbeha465898
Pearl River4591146
Marshall4571105
Warren4436121
Pontotoc424573
Union415576
Monroe4154135
Neshoba4059179
Lincoln4007111
Hancock385187
Leflore3514125
Tate342386
Sunflower339391
Pike3366110
Alcorn323272
Scott319274
Yazoo313971
Adams304785
Itawamba304777
Copiah299666
Coahoma298283
Simpson297889
Tippah291168
Prentiss283361
Leake271674
Marion271280
Covington266683
Wayne264442
Grenada264087
George251851
Newton248563
Tishomingo230867
Winston229881
Jasper222048
Attala214973
Chickasaw210459
Holmes190374
Clay187454
Stone187233
Tallahatchie179941
Clarke178980
Calhoun173732
Yalobusha167740
Smith164034
Walthall135147
Greene131633
Lawrence131024
Montgomery128643
Noxubee127934
Perry126638
Amite125942
Carroll122330
Webster115032
Tunica107927
Jefferson Davis107633
Claiborne102930
Benton102225
Humphreys97533
Kemper96628
Franklin84923
Quitman81816
Choctaw79018
Wilkinson69332
Jefferson66228
Sharkey50817
Issaquena1696
Unassigned00

Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 547323

Reported Deaths: 11266
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson808021563
Mobile41925826
Madison35600522
Tuscaloosa26136458
Shelby25554254
Montgomery25067610
Baldwin21774313
Lee16234175
Calhoun14692325
Morgan14614285
Etowah14132361
Marshall12443230
Houston10748287
Elmore10295212
Limestone10180157
St. Clair10146250
Cullman9921200
Lauderdale9582248
DeKalb8955189
Talladega8441184
Walker7318279
Autauga7215113
Blount6925139
Jackson6900113
Colbert6394139
Coffee5616126
Dale4928114
Russell454441
Chilton4461116
Franklin430683
Covington4263122
Tallapoosa4117154
Escambia400280
Chambers3715123
Dallas3604156
Clarke352861
Marion3231106
Pike313978
Lawrence3121100
Winston283372
Bibb267364
Geneva256981
Marengo250565
Pickens236562
Barbour234559
Hale226578
Butler223371
Fayette217162
Henry193843
Cherokee187245
Randolph186844
Monroe179141
Washington170339
Macon163051
Clay159559
Crenshaw155057
Cleburne152543
Lamar145837
Lowndes141953
Wilcox127030
Bullock124242
Conecuh112930
Coosa111129
Perry108726
Sumter105732
Greene93434
Choctaw61725
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