Trump’s Top Ten Worst Tweets As President (Spoiler: The Morning Joe Tweet Doesn’t Even Make The Top 5).
I decided to make my own compilation of Trump’s worst tweets as President. There were so many to choose from. Dishonest tweets are so common I wrote an article suggesting a Twilight Zone of honest tweets from Trump. However, Trump’s worst tweets are not even merely dishonest. They are petty and hateful, evidencing an unbalanced mind preoccupied with self image, and focused on belittling others rather than the business of the nation. Worse still are tweets that damage America’s standing in the world, damage foreign policy, or undermine the office of the Presidency itself.
Excluded from this list are many horrific tweets Trump made before he became President. Thus, things like his mocking a handicapped reporter, his stating Megyn Kelly was bleeding out her “whatever,” and false claims that Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination were not eligible for consideration.
Here is my list. There are actually more than ten because I sometimes combined clusters of tweets on the same topic.
10. Trump Misrepresents Lawfare Article.
Melting down after the 9th Circuit ruled against his travel ban (more on that later) Trump desperately sought any legal sources he thought might support his position. He found a legal blog called “Lawfare” and posted the following.
Somebody didn’t read the whole article. The author did not regard it as a “disgraceful decision.” The author strongly endorsed the 9th Circuit’s ban on the ban stating:
The Ninth Circuit is correct to leave the TRO in place, in my view, for the simple reason that there is no cause to plunge the country into turmoil again while the courts address the merits of these matters over the next few weeks.
9. Trump Lies About Chris Cuomo’s Interview With Senator Blumenthal.
CNN’s Chris Cuomo had an interview with Senator Blumenthal with Blumenthal revealing a conversation with then Supreme Court nominee Gorsuch where Gorsuch condemned Trump’s attacks on the judiciary (see below). Trump had previously attacked Blumenthal for true stories that Blumenthal falsely claimed to have served in Vietnam. Blumenthal served during that time but did not deploy to Vietnam. Trump took to Twitter to criticize the interview, falsely stating that Cuomo did not ask Blumenthal about this.
This one makes the list because of the very audacity of the patently false claim. Very few lies like this can be directly contradicted with video evidence. Cuomo did ask exactly that, it was his very first question.
Yes, Senator Blumenthal dodged the question, going to his own talking point, but Cuomo’s first question was the question the President said he did not ask.
8. Trump Lies About Obama Releasing Over 100 Gitmo Prisoners Who Returned to Terrorism.
Trump has a failure to fact check and if he misunderstands a news report he just impulsively tweets a lie.
The 122 number came from a Fox News report and within half an hour Trump, who can’t be bothered with confirming anything, just could not control his 12 year old level impatience and tweet it to the world. The Fox News Report correctly said a national intelligence report confirms 122 former Gitmo detainees returned to the battlefield.
But Trump added something to his tweets the Fox Report did not say. Trump added the 122 former detainees were “released by the Obama Administration.” That statement is a flat out lie, there is no other way to characterize it. In fact, the vast bulk of those 122 were released by the Bush Administration.
To be precise, the same national security report that is the source of that 122 number says 113 of those (that’s 93%) were released by the Bush Administration. Trump also failed to inform the people that 30 of those 122 are dead and another 25 are now in custody. Here’s the chart from the relevant report.
7. The Morning Joe Tweets.
Trump’s formally cordial relationship with the Morning Joe show turned adversarial during the campaign when Republican host Joe Scarborough said he could not vote for Trump. In the race to the bottom since, Trump took the lead this week with tandem tweets that were petty, hateful and arguably misogynistic. They were widely condemned by Republicans and Democrats alike. This is what the putative leader of the free world posted.
While the President’s Press Secretary defended the tweets as just defending himself, it is helpful to take note of the Morning Joe show that had just finished, and which apparently triggered this response from the (supposedly not watching the show) President. They had just done a bit discussing, and rather gently mocking, the fake Trump Time Magazine cover pictures up in about half a dozen of his resorts. That is a true story, they really are there. Morning Joe talking about them certainly did deserve this.
On the other hand, Trump’s allegations were not true. Mika and Joe attended the event Trump says he turned them down from and Mika had not had any face lift. Pictures from the event show her face was not bleeding at all.
Based on the fallout I suppose many would rank this higher. But it really is just the typical Trump stuff. It’s an admittedly harsher version of similar personal attacks on people like Meryl Streep, Arnold Swartzennegger, Rosie O’Donnell, the cast of the play Hamilton, and others. While vile, it is typical for him. The most frightening part of it may be that we have come to accept it as normal. It is not normal and a nation of civilized people should not regard it as such.
6. Trump Insults Germany.
Tweets that go beyond dishonesty and damage foreign policy get ranked higher. Trump amplified his chilly meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel with a series of tweets aimed at the public belittlement of Germany. Things like this combo:
The comments immediately set off a firestorm of protest in Germany. Not surprisingly, the Germans were right and Trump is wrong. In the words of German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen “there is no debt account at NATO.”
They led me to say that “Our so-called “Commander-in-Chief needs to learn that the United States armed forces are not mercenaries. We do not receive tribute from foreign nations to defend them.”
Of course Trump doubled down later describing Germany as “very bad” for the United States.
The response was again furious from our (hopefully still) ally with Angela Merkel suggesting the United States is no longer a reliable partner.
5. Travel Ban Tweets.
Trump’s lawyers worked hard, they really did. Attempting to bolster their defense of Trump’s “travel ban” they argued hard that it was not a “ban” but rather a temporary suspension to allow adequate review to improve vetting. Then along comes your client who cuts your case out from underneath you with some ill advised early morning tweet storms.
But for real emphasis we need to put it in all caps, cause that’s what a 12 year old would do.
His next tweet then insulted his lawyers and linked the second travel ban to the original while claiming the chaos producing and facially discriminatory original ban should have stood.
That last one plays right into the hands of the Plaintiffs in the case as they seek to show religious animus because it invoked the facially discriminatory first travel ban.
Tweets that undermine your own case, involving one of the hallmarks of your Presidency, get into the top 5.
4. Attacking the Judiciary.
Trump’s tweets attacking the judge hearing his Trump University fraud case because “he’s a Mexican” don’t qualify here because they occurred before he became President. However, we can consider them as part of a disturbing and dangerous pattern of attacking the Federal Judiciary that has continued since he took the oath of office.
Frustrated by rulings against his executive orders banning sanctuary cities (a decision even his lawyers agreed with) and his travel bans, Trump has repeatedly lashed out at the courts and individual judges. There are too many of these to post, but this is typical of the species.
This was in the series of tweets that included challenging even the credentials of the judge with the phrase “so-called judge.”
As stated, there are so many more of these sorts of things I can’t post them all. When combined with Trump’s attacks on the media we can see that Trump is seeking to undermine the legitimacy of the two primary components in the American system that serve to limit a President’s, any President’s, power.
That should frighten any American and accounts for the high ranking of this issue.
3. Falsely Accusing Obama of Wiretaps.
In a series of early morning mid-March tweets Trump set off a storm he has not been able to contain and which has advanced to such intensity as to perhaps fatally damage his Presidency. With no credible basis for the allegation Trump accused Obama of tapping his phones and viciously attacked him as a “bad or sick guy” while accusing Obama of McCarthyism.
You may wonder where Trump got this wacky idea. He took as gospel a report the night before on ultra-right wing Breitbart.com. He made no effort to check it out before launching this tirade.
Trump has continued to double down on this lie even as no evidence comes to support it and all U.S. intelligence agencies deny it. Trump’s response was to try to make the issue go away by appointing a committee to investigate his made up out of thin air allegation. It didn’t work and Trump’s tweets again blew up in his face. His allegations fanned the flames at looking into what was surveyed by U.S. intelligence, exposing evidence members of his campaign had inappropriate contacts with Russians that they did not disclose. Combined with other events (see below) the smoldering “Russiagate” investigation exploded.
Not content to damage his own Presidency and credibility, Trump’s doubling down decline into absurd lies eventually damaged our relations with another ally, this time Great Britain.
The series of panic lies to support the Trump Tweets escalated until they finally provoked an international incident. Trump Press Secretary Sean Spicer stood in front of the press and justified the Tweets based on an unsupported claim by Judge Napolitano of Fox News claiming the wiretapping of Trump was done at Obama’s behest by the British Intelligence Agency. Fox News later backed away from the report acknowledging it had “no evidence of any kind” to support the claim.
The British were understandably outraged the Administration would endorse such an allegation. The Trump Administration effectively accused an ally of violating the law. Angry calls, from the British government to the White House, protesting the allegations quickly poured in. The British intelligence agency, the GCHQ, rarely speaks publicly, but it did this time labeling the allegations “nonsense” that should be ignored.
The Trump Administration effectively apologized, and the British let the world know, reporting that they had been assured the allegations would not be repeated.
2. The Press Is the Enemy of the People.
When I started this article I fully intended to make this one #1. Trump’s sustained barrages criticizing the press of regularly peddling “fake news” is disturbing enough, particularly since Trump’s claims of fake news are themselves often rooted in lies. However, I found this one particularly chilling.
With all do deference for Godwin’s Law, nothing Trump has tweeted has so echoed of Hitler-esque tones more than this one. This should truly scare the Hell out of every American. Hitler also attempted to label the free press the “enemy of the people” and Trump’s habitual use of terms like “fake news media” harkens to Hitler’s use of of the term “lugenpresse” or lying press.
No disagreement with the press is to petty for Trump. They are “fake news” if they criticize a press conference he has because Rush Limbaugh’s saying it was a great supposedly reduces any criticism to a lie.
Americans should be in terror of this sort of demagogic rhetoric. The most frightening part of it of all is we just shrug it off as the new normal. It’s not normal.
Edit and Update: Shortly after posting this original article Trump posted another controversial tweet attacking the press. This one had Donald Trump at Worldwide Wrestling Federation event taking down and pummeling a CNN avatar.
Of course, Trump’s people defended it as a joke, and I suppose it was. But here is why it is not funny. The context denies Trump the “joke defense.” In a context where a President had a normal relationship with the press, this might be viewed as funny. In a context filled the President continuously trying to arouse Americans against the press, to include calling them “the enemy of the people” this tweet is just more gasoline on a toxic, violence encouraging bonfire. It also turns out the gif was made by a raging racist and Jew hater.
These attacks combined with his assaults on the legitimacy of the judiciary create a synergetic concern as Trump goes after the two most important institutions our Constitution created to limit his power.
- Saying Comey Better Hope There Are No Tapes.
I originally had this one at #2 and the attacks on the media as the enemy of the people as #1. However, after spelling out the arguments, I decided this deserved to move to #1.
Only three days before this tweet Trump had fired Comey. Reports leaked that Trump sought a loyalty pledge from Comey and pressured Comey to drop the Flynn investigation. Comey was rapidly becoming a witness to potential obstruction of justice charges against the President and was expected to testify to Congress again regarding the loyalty pledge and Trump pressure to drop the Flynn investigation.
So Trump responded with the above, Nixon reminding tweet, apparently attempting to influence and intimidate the potential witness.
The tweet stoked the Russiagate investigation into a bonfire. The media and Congress demanded to know whether any such tapes existed. Trump refused to answer, saying he would later. Trump played the American people along for six weeks regarding this ultimately bogus suggestion of tapes. Only in the face of a Congressional subpoena for any such tapes, and on the eve of the deadline for them, did Trump in another pair of tweets finally claim there are not, and never were, any such tapes.
Trump would later claim he played this game to “make” Comey tell the truth in his eventual testimony. Trump took credit for making Comey do so citing Comey’s admissions that he did tell Trump that Trump was not personally under investigation and that Comey leaked the memos disclosing the contents of his discussions with Trump.
Well okay, but if Trump compelled Comey to tell the truth then that means Comey also told the truth when he said Trump sought a loyalty pledge from him and pressured Comey to drop the Flynn investigation. Trump apparently did not see that side of the sword.
Overall, the tapes strategy was a disaster for Trump. It directly led to the appointment of a Special Prosecutor who is now investigating Trump on what should be regarded as credible obstruction of justice and witness intimidation charges.
A tweet that prompts the appointment of a Special Prosecutor to investigate felony charges against you deserves a #1 ranking.