Donald Trump, Internet troll

Donald Trump has always had some Internet troll in him. He loves to provoke. He often traffics in h...

Posted: Nov 29, 2018 9:39 AM
Updated: Nov 29, 2018 9:39 AM

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.

Bullying

Companies

Continents and regions

Cyberbullying

Donald Trump

Eastern Europe

Europe

Government and public administration

Internet and WWW

Investigations

Political Figures - US

Politics

Russia

Russia meddling investigation

Social media

Societal issues

Society

Technology

Twitter

Violence in society

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.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 108646

Reported Deaths: 3478
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20341757
Lake10013312
Elkhart6198106
St. Joseph586796
Allen5785198
Hamilton4600109
Vanderburgh318126
Hendricks2607120
Monroe224336
Johnson2241122
Tippecanoe211313
Clark205056
Porter197843
Cass19209
Delaware180159
Vigo169621
Madison153075
LaPorte134837
Floyd127961
Howard125163
Kosciusko116717
Bartholomew113257
Warrick104134
Marshall97423
Boone93846
Dubois92118
Hancock89242
Noble86432
Grant85132
Henry73424
Jackson7259
Wayne72214
Morgan68038
Shelby65529
LaGrange62811
Daviess61627
Dearborn61428
Clinton59111
Harrison54824
Putnam5098
Lawrence49928
Montgomery49421
White47114
Knox4659
Decatur44739
Gibson4344
DeKalb42511
Miami4202
Greene40935
Fayette40413
Jasper3732
Scott34410
Steuben3447
Sullivan32612
Jennings30512
Franklin29225
Posey2900
Clay2855
Orange27924
Ripley2768
Carroll26713
Wabash2547
Washington2491
Whitley2456
Wells2422
Starke2387
Jefferson2363
Adams2303
Fulton2292
Tipton21522
Huntington2073
Randolph2047
Perry20014
Spencer1984
Jay1640
Newton16411
Owen1621
Martin1560
Rush1484
Pike1331
Vermillion1210
Fountain1152
Pulaski1121
Blackford1072
Crawford980
Brown933
Parke902
Benton880
Union760
Ohio757
Switzerland660
Warren381
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 141585

Reported Deaths: 4580
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25445600
Cuyahoga16907638
Hamilton12559307
Montgomery7334148
Lucas7017356
Butler548798
Summit5020246
Marion304947
Mahoning2968279
Warren285648
Stark2673168
Pickaway261944
Lorain222786
Delaware206920
Fairfield197650
Columbiana190778
Trumbull1837131
Licking182461
Clark169337
Wood162271
Clermont157919
Lake154849
Medina140538
Allen133767
Miami131249
Greene128826
Portage104566
Mercer102017
Tuscarawas90719
Wayne89266
Erie87144
Ross84322
Richland76918
Madison76412
Darke74539
Belmont70427
Geauga69747
Hancock6419
Ashtabula63748
Athens5692
Lawrence56918
Sandusky55020
Auglaize5479
Shelby5428
Huron5207
Putnam50919
Ottawa46430
Union4622
Scioto4496
Seneca41814
Preble41113
Holmes3687
Muskingum3622
Jefferson3174
Logan2893
Henry28512
Champaign2833
Perry2839
Knox27615
Clinton27513
Brown2712
Defiance26910
Morrow2482
Hardin24613
Washington24223
Coshocton23111
Fayette2236
Fulton2221
Highland2163
Jackson2162
Ashland2124
Crawford2086
Wyandot20012
Williams1883
Gallia17910
Meigs1679
Hocking1589
Guernsey1547
Carroll1487
Pike1410
Adams1174
Van Wert1113
Monroe10618
Paulding960
Harrison601
Morgan460
Vinton453
Noble240
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Clear
43° wxIcon
Hi: 65° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 43°
Angola
36° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 36°
Huntington
Clear
41° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 39°
Feels Like: 41°
Decatur
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 38°
Feels Like: 37°
Van Wert
Clear
37° wxIcon
Hi: 64° Lo: 37°
Feels Like: 37°
Cool, Sunny Saturday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events