TrumpWatch, Day 200: So Much for Controlling Trump’s Tweets

US President Donald Trump gives a thumbs-up well wishers as he arrives at the 72nd US Women's Open Golf Championship at Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, July 16, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump on US Senator: “He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child”

Developments on Day 200 of the Trump Administration:

Trump’s Twitter Tirade Defies Influence by Chief of Staff

Shattering the narrative that a new Chief of Staff will bring order to him and his White House, Donald Trump spends the day ranting and insulting people on Twitter.

The White House has put out the line that the appointment of retired Marine general John Kelly on July 31 was supposed to end factional disputes and rein in Trump’s tweets, which have often destabilized policy and brought unwelcome headlines.

But as he began a 17-day vacation last weekend at his New Jersey golf resort, Trump retweeted a fake pro-Trump “robot” account. He followed on Monday with a tirade spurred by his consumption of morning news, beginning with a jab at The New York Times and an attempt to push back stories of his declining poll ratings — now at an unprecedented low level for a President at this point in an Administration:

He linked his cheerleading with a swipe at his enemy “Fake Media”: “Hard to believe that with 24/7 #Fake News on CNN, ABC, NBC, CBS, NYTIMES & WAPO [Washington Post], the Trump base is getting stronger!”

Attacking a US Senator

But Trump’s headline-grabbing rant was an invective against Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut.

Angered by Blumenthal’s appearance on CNN supporting the Trump-Russia investigation, Trump — who avoided the draft for the Vietnam War — took aim at the Senator’s false claim that he had been involved in the conflict. (Blumenthal, who served in the military for six years, soon apologized.)

In contrast to his attention to Blumenthal, Trump did not mention the deaths of three Marines in the crash of a military plane off the coast of Australia or acknowledge Purple Heart Day, angering some veterans.

Trump returned to Twitter in the afternoon for another round with his supposed foes. He insisted — bizarrely, given the extensive coverage of the story — that the “Fake News Media will not talk about the importance of the United Nations Security Council’s 15-0 vote in favor of sanctions on N. Korea!”. He questioned “how much longer” could the “failing NY Times” stay in business, and he returned to Blumenthal:

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Scott Lucas is Professor of International Politics at the University of Birmingham and editor-in-chief of EA WorldView. He is a specialist in US and British foreign policy and international relations, especially the Middle East and Iran. Formerly he worked as a journalist in the US, writing for newspapers including the Guardian and The Independent and was an essayist for The New Statesman before he founded EA WorldView in November 2008.

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