While starting a little later than usual, Trump unloaded his now traditional morning tweetstorm, where in a three tweet salvo the president first lashed out at the “FAKE MSM” accusing it of trying to stop him from tweeting and saying reporters “hate” his use of Twitter while criticizing election analysts that predicted he would lose. In a separate tweet he took credit for Monday night’s diplomatic crisis in which a Saudi-led alliance cut ties with Qatar, accusing it of being the region’s only source of terrorist funding.
In the first two related tweets, Trump said “The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media. They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out,” followed by “Sorry folks, but if I would have relied on the Fake News of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, washpost or nytimes, I would have had ZERO chance winning WH,” he added shortly after.
Addressing the topic of Trump’s use of social media, on Monday, White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that no one in the White House vets Trump’s tweets, following recent reports from the WSJ that as part of Trump’s “war room” White House lawyers would seek to curb Trump’s twitter usage.
“I think social media for the President is extremely important. It gives him the ability to speak directly to the people without the bias of the media filtering those types of communications,” Sanders said.
In the aftermath of the latest London terrorist attack, Trump sent out a series of incendiary tweets Sunday and Monday criticizing the mayor of London after a terror attack in the city, and touting his “travel ban” on individuals from six majority-Muslim countries, in the process provoking a furious political response by UK politicians, some of whom demanded that Trump’s invitation to the UK later this year be rescinded.
Commenting on Trump’s tweeting, Axios reported this morning that after Trump’s tweets yesterday undermining his own Supreme Court case on the travel ban, his Republican allies on Capitol Hill and downtown sounded weary and irritated at day after day of self-inflicted wounds:
- A top GOP operative said: “People are running out of patience. He’s in a very tenuous position, where it wouldn’t take a lot more bad news for things to come crumbling apart. Their complete inability to get ahead of the Russia story is so strange to people.”
- The N.Y. Times’ Michael Schmidt, who broke the story that Comey had kept memos of his conversations with Trump, made the remarkable disclosure on “Morning Joe” last week that it was Trump’s twitter threat to Comey (“James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!”) “that motivated some of the folks that I was talking to … and led to them talking about how Trump told Comey to end the Flynn investigation. … [T]he tweets … loosen them up to talk about things
In a separate tweet, Trump appeared to take credit for the latest Gulf scandal in which many of Qatar’s neighbors cut ties with the wealthy nation, saying that there cannot be funding for “Radical Ideology.”
“During my recent trip to the Middle East I stated that there can no longer be funding of Radical Ideology. Leaders pointed to Qatar – look!”
As some sarcastically pointed out in response to Trump’s tweet, “Saudi-led GCC effectively blockaded Qatar and isolated a country hosting US bases, as per the US President?”
Others echoed this sentiment, pointing out that “the President, w/o any diplomatic preparation, just supported a sort of a blockade on a country that hosts 1 of US largest military bases.”
The President, w/o any diplomatic preparation, just supported a sort of a blockade on a country that hosts 1 of US largest military bases
As a reminder, on Monday Bahrain, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates on Monday announced they were cutting diplomatic ties with Qatar, citing what they say is Qatar’s support for extremist groups and its relations with Iran, which as the FT later reported may have been catalyzed by a $1 billion payment made by Qatar to Iran and various al-Qaeda spinoffs operating in the region. Some have alleged that the Saudi-led action was merely an attempt to scapegoat Qatar for ongoing support of terrorism in the region which as even Hillary Clinton noted previously includes not only Qatar but also America’s biggest arms customer, Saudi Arabia.
In response, Qatar has denied any support for militant groups and says the crisis is being fueled by “absolute fabrications” and is a “violation of its sovereignty.” In the aftermath of the scandal, U.S. officials downplayed the growing dissension between Qatar and the four other Arab nations, saying the dispute would not affect the fight against ISIS. As Bloomberg reported earlier, Kuwait is trying to mediate the crisis between Qatar and its Arab neighbors Qatar’s foreign minister said Tuesday.
In an interview with Doha-based satellite news network Al-Jazeera, Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulrahman Al Thani said Kuwait’s ruler had asked Qatar’s emir to hold off on giving a speech about the crisis late Monday night.
Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani “received a call from the emir of Kuwait asking him to postpone it in order to give time to solve the crisis,” Sheikh Mohammed said. Still, the minister struck a defiant tone, rejecting those “trying to impose their will on Qatar or intervene in its internal affairs.”
The state-run Kuwait News Agency reported Kuwaiti ruler Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah spoke with Qatar’s emir Monday evening and urged him to give a chance to efforts that could ease tensions. The call came after a senior Saudi royal arrived in Kuwait with a message from the Saudi king. An Omani diplomat traveled to Qatar on Monday.