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Trump defends social media posts: Not presidential, but modern-day presidential

Trump also escalated his war with media at an event to honour US military veterans, referring to them as “fake media” and reprising a line of attack all too familiar by now.

world Updated: Jul 02, 2017 21:30 IST
Yashwant Raj
Yashwant Raj
Hindustan Times, Washington
US President Donald Trump,Morning Joe programme,Florida resort Mar-a-Lago
Donald Trump at the Celebrate Freedom concert at the John F Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.(AFP)

US President Donald Trump, whose offensive posts on Twitter have troubled even family and supporters, has defended himself against fresh criticism over his use of social media being unpresidential and tweeted on Saturday he has been “modern day presidential”.

Trump also escalated his war with media at an event to honour US military veterans ahead of July 4, the American Independence Day. “The fake media tried to stop us from going to the White House, but I’m president and they’re not,” he said, reprising a line of attack all too familiar by now.

“My use of social media is not Presidential - it’s MODERN DAY PRESIDENTIAL. Make America Great Again!” he tweeted earlier, pushing back against criticism of his tweets about Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski, hosts of Morning Joe programme on MSNBC network.

Referring to a meeting with the two anchors at his Florida resort Mar-a-Lago in December 2016, Trump posted a tweeted in which he called them “psycho Joe” and “low IQ crazy Mika”, and then, wrote that Brzezinski “was bleeding badly from a face-lift”.

Outrage was swift and brutal, even from Republican lawmakers. “It’s unworthy of the office of President of the United States,” Senator Susan Collins said. And Adam Kinzinger, a member of the House of Representatives, said “that’s a tweet that’s not even becoming of a city councilman”.

This was not the first time Trump, previously as a businessman then a candidate for White House, had made disparaging remarks about women.

Trump had once suggested news anchor Megyn Kelly had asked him tough questions at presidential debate because she was menstruating — “there was blood coming of her eyes, there was blood coming out of her wherever”.

Trump’s use of social media — specially Twitter — was found problematic by his aides during his presidential campaign, which he had tended to send off incendiary posts and off-the-script remarks at election rallies. And they had tried to persuade him to curb his impulse, especially when punching back.

His family had seemed troubled as well. Asked by an interviewer in 2016, which of Trump’s habits she would like him to give up, Melania Trump had said, “The tweeting”. Trump was noticeably quieter in the days after but not for long.

He firmly believe his use social media was crucial to his victory. “I won the 2016 election with interviews, speeches and social media,” he tweeted on Saturday, before he went on to call his social media usage — “not presidential”, but “modern day presidential”.

First Published: Jul 02, 2017 21:30 IST