Donald Trump reached a new personal low yesterday when he spent seventeen hours tweeting toxic garbage which ranged from demanding his personal enemies be arrested, to threatening nuclear war, to bragging about the size of his anatomy. At the end of his utterly deranged day, one of Trump’s tweets oddly disappeared, and it wasn’t even the one in which he committed felony witness intimidation. This morning, he deleted yet another tweet.
So what’s going on here? Hours after Trump’s all-day Twitter rant concluded yesterday, he or a staffer went back and deleted just the one tweet that encouraged people to watch that evening’s episode of the Sean Hannity show on Fox News. Why? It’s not entirely clear. The tweet was technically an illegal attempt at using the presidency to plug one product (Hannity’s show) over competing products (whatever was airing on CNN and MSNBC at the time), but again, it was far from his most illegal tweet of the day. He’s also plugged Hannity’s show before without deleting it.
This morning Trump tweeted “Such respect for the people of Iran as they fight to take back their corrupt and poorly run country. The United States will be with you at the appropriate time!” Then he or a staffer deleted it, and replaced it with “Such respect for the people of Iran as they try to take back their corrupt government. You will see great support from the United States at the appropriate time!” While Trump’s tweets are occasionally subbed out to fix a particularly embarrassing typo, this time it was subbed out simply to change the wording of the middle section, which is not how this usually goes.
It’s far from clear what’s going on here, and I wish I could give you a better answer. But Donald Trump very rarely deletes tweets these days, presumably due to pressure from legal activist groups who assert that doing so is a violation of the Presidential Records Act. Moreover, both of these deletions are far from the norm. Something is afoot here, and it’s worth watching to try to figure out why Trump (or his staff) began deleting tweets yesterday, and continued it into today.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report