Trump Brags About The Size Of His Nuclear Button On Twitter

Donald Trump's irrational tweets are once again focused on the leader of North Korea.

Trump Nukes

While yesterday was officially supposed to be the first day back to work after a long golfing working holiday vacation at his Mar-A-Lago resort in Florida, President Trump spent a good part of the day diving back into his Twitter habit, capping the day off with another Tweet aimed at North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un:

WASHINGTON — President Trump again raised the prospect of nuclear war with North Korea, boasting in strikingly playground terms on Tuesday night that he commands a “much bigger” and “more powerful” arsenal of devastating weapons than the outlier government in Asia.

“North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the ‘Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times,'” Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter. “Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

Mr. Trump’s combative response to a statement made the day before by Mr. Kim raised the temperature in the brewing confrontation between the United States and North Korea even as American allies in South Korea were moving to open talks with Pyongyang. The contrast between Mr. Trump’s language and the peace overture by South Korea highlighted the growing rift between two longtime allies.

The president’s tone also generated a mix of scorn and alarm among lawmakers, diplomats and national security experts who called it juvenile and frightening for a president handling a foreign policy challenge with world-wrecking consequences. The language was reminiscent of Mr. Trump’s boast during the 2016 presidential campaign that his hands, and by extension his genitals, were in fact big enough.

It came on a day when Mr. Trump, back in Washington from his Florida holiday break, effectively opened his new year with a barrage of provocative tweets on a host of issues. He called for an aide to Hillary Clinton to be thrown in jail, threatened to cut off aid to Pakistan and the Palestiniansassailed Democrats over immigration, claimed credit for the fact that no one died in a jet plane crash last year and announced that he would announce his own award next Monday for the most dishonest and corrupt news media.

The North Korea tweet near the end of the day seemed most distressing to some in Washington watching the escalating clash between the United States and a nuclear-armed North.

“I guess the president regards this as a show of strength,” Representative Jim Himes, Democrat of Connecticut and a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said on CNN. “But as everybody who’s ever been in a, you know, first grade playground recognizes, it’s usually the person who’s most aggressively pounding their chest that is in fact the weak one on the playground.”

Eliot A. Cohen, who was counselor to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice under President George W. Bush, said the tweet demonstrated an immaturity that is dangerous in a commander in chief.

“Spoken like a petulant ten year old,” Mr. Cohen wrote on Twitter. “But one with nuclear weapons — for real — at his disposal. How responsible people around him, or supporting him, can dismiss this or laugh it off is beyond me.”

Mr. Trump’s supporters brushed off the criticism, calling the president’s words a bracing stand that would force North Korea to confront the potential repercussions of its efforts to develop nuclear weapons that could reach the continental United States.

Michael Flynn Jr., the son of the president’s former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, who has pleaded guilty to lying to investigators in the Russia investigation, said Mr. Trump’s tweet was “just awesome.” He added on Twitter: “This is why Trump was elected. A no bulls#t leader not afraid to stand up for his country.”

In a normal Presidency, rhetoric like this would be shocking and just a little bit concerned with regard to what it might mean for U.S. policy toward North Korea as well as that particular President’s view of the use of nuclear weapons. With Donald Trump, though, this is just another Tweet on another day, and yet another example of how he has routinely used his Twitter account to lash out in ways that make him appear to be, well, irrational and unhinged. As Brian Stelter of CNN put it, if the leader of another country said the things that Trump does on a regular basis, we’d all be saying that person was not well. With Trump, it’s just the same stuff on a different day, and it’s largely consistent with the way that he’s used his Twitter account for years now. This also isn’t the first time that he’s used his Twitter account to last out at North Korea in response to provocative statements from Kim Jong-Un or the official press organs of the North Korean government.  Over the summer, for example, he started calling Kim Jong-Un “Little Rocket Man,” a nickname that quickly became part of his rhetoric to the point where he began using it in campaign speeches and even during his address to the United Nations General Assembly. It’s juvenile and stupid, of course, but it is also par for the course as far as Trump is concerned.

All of this comes at the same time that there appears to be a thaw developing between North and South Korea even as North Korea’s leader keeps the rhetorical battle with the United States red hot. As I noted yesterday, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un kicked off the new year with a speech that appeared to be quite conciliatory toward the south, suggesting among other things that the two nations explore the idea of allowing  North Korean athletes to compete in the Winter Olympics, which will take place in South Korea next month. South Korean President Moon responded positively to that idea and suggested that the two nations send delegations to talk to each other. There was further thawing today when North Korea reopened a cross-border hotline to the south that had been closed for more than two years amid rising tensions on the peninsula. Contrasted with Trump’s continued belligerent rhetoric, these actions seem designed to present a different face to the south and drive somewhat of a wedge between South Korea and its American ally. With rhetoric such as the tweet he sent last night, Trump is only helping that effort.

FILED UNDER: Donald Trump, National Security, North Korea, Politicians, US Politics, , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Franklin says:

    Surprised that the other petulant child Kim Jong Un didn’t reply something along the lines of, “you sure you can press that big button with your tiny hands?”

    On another note, Flynn Jr. considers Trump to be a “no bull***t leader”. I guess he and I have completely different definitions of bull***t.




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  2. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    He of fake tan fake hair, and fake teeth first threatened to label China a currency manipulator. Then backed off that, when Xi Jinping played him like a fiddle; credibility lost.
    The he removed us from the TPP…further ceding leadership in that part of the world.
    As he imposes more sanctions China and Russia continue to sell oil to NK. Many other nations are still doing business with NK…even our allies
    Now, as North Korea extends an olive branch to SK…he ups the rhetoric, further ceding our credibility.

    A similar scenario has played out in the Middle East. By siding with Israel all credibility as a neutral broker is gone. Threatening to withdraw funds from Pakistan and Palestine only leave bigger openings for others, like Russia and China.

    In a year we have gone from being, arguably, the lone superpower, to being a complete laughingstock. There is no reason to take the US seriously any longer. Our President is an incompetent fool.




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  3. Hal_10000 says:

    I liked what Julian Sanchez said: “The good news is, other countries won’t take talk like this too seriously because they understand Trump is a small man who blusters to make himself feel potent. That’s also the bad news; there’s nowhere left to go rhetorically when we need to signal we’re serious.”

    As I blogged this morning, I don’t think the President is going to start a war. But we are going to pay a price for his erosion of social, diplomatic and cultural norms at some point. We are going to pay a big price. Just because his first year hasn’t ended in fire doesn’t mean one of the next three won’t.




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  4. teve tory says:

    As I blogged this morning, I don’t think the President is going to start a war. But we are going to pay a price for his erosion of social, diplomatic and cultural norms at some point.

    If trump makes it bad enough that pakistan dumps our support for that of China’s, we’ll have a lost a major ally and a lot of capability to operate in that region.




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  5. SenyorDave says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl: In a year we have gone from being, arguably, the lone superpower, to being a complete laughingstock. There is no reason to take the US seriously any longer. Our President is an incompetent fool.

    And his party just goes along with him. The true believers like his base just say to themselves “we’re the US, we an do anything we want and it doesn’t matter, our allies and enemies will fall into line”. The rest of the GOP will go along (even “brave” ones like Corker and Flake), knowing how destructive he is, because of two things they’ve craved for year: tax cuts for the donor class and long term eroding of the social safety net.




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  6. KM says:

    @Hal_10000:

    That’s also the bad news; there’s nowhere left to go rhetorically when we need to signal we’re serious.

    Exactly. James like to call it kayfabe but at what point does it stop being an act and how can you tell? How are we supposed to be able to tell when he’s “in character” and when he’s genuinely threatening to beat some ass? If we can’t tell, how are our allies and enemies supposed to figure it out?

    There’s this fable called the Boy Who Cried Wolf and it’s message was “no one will believe you when it matters if you keep making things up”. The modern equivalent should be Braggart Who Runs His Mouth and it’s message will unfortunately be “if you always act like a wannabe badass, no one’s going to pay attention when you finally try and man up”




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  7. KM says:

    @SenyorDave :

    The true believers like his base just say to themselves “we’re the US, we an do anything we want and it doesn’t matter, our allies and enemies will fall into line”.

    They’re also the people who believe America’s never lost a war and yet if you ask the last time we won one, the answer will invariably be WWII. They chant “USA #1” wholeheartedly while the UN stands next to them and investigates their 3rd world level poverty. They have to believe we’re the best nation on Earth – the honey badger of the world – because otherwise they’ll start looking around and realize those nations they hate have better stuff then them. Stiff-necked pride’s all that keeps some folks going…..




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  8. al-Ameda says:

    Just another day, another dispatch from the Dumpster Fire.

    I can only conclude that Republicans are afraid to move ahead to impeach Trump and install Pence because they very much fear Trump’s base support.




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  9. CSK says:

    @al-Ameda:

    You have a point. Nothing characterizes the Trumpkins so much as their insensate rage. These were the people who were balked in their desire to install their previous savior, Sarah Palin, in the White House. They’re not going to be thwarted again.




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  10. teve tory says:

    I’m not so much worried about trump starting a nuclear war. NK has maybe 10 nukes, not super-powerful ones, most probly not small enough to put on a missile, and really shitty missile tech.

    But if we can hang on to the outrage now stirred up in decent people, we could have congress back a year from now. That means no replacing RBG with Ugg McTroglodyte. That’s the thing i’m most worried about.




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  11. KM says:

    @al-Ameda:
    Yep. Y’all Qaeda loves them some Trump. It’s not going to be pretty if the GOP tries it. After all, they expect the left to pull that but from their own side’s gonna result in some (hopefully figurative) blood.




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  12. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    From a DC Correspondent for the Toronto Star:
    https://twitter.com/ddale8/status/948416574670688256/photo/1?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.vox.com%2Fpolicy-and-politics%2F2018%2F1%2F3%2F16844404%2Ftrumps-tweets-north-korea-fox-news
    All these tweets are responding to, or triggered by, Fox News segments.
    The man is wildly unfit to hold the office.
    Anyone who voted for him is unfit to handle anything sharper than a spoon.




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  13. Mister Bluster says:

    REPUBLICAN President PUD! What a DUD!




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  14. Kathy says:

    At this rate, Mexico will need to build a wall to keep refugees out.




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  15. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    At this point you have to wonder what it will take for the next President, Republican or Democrat, to restore our credibility around the world.




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  16. michael reynolds says:

    @Daryl’s other brother Darryl:
    Decades, that’s what it will take. It took 8 years to repair the economic mess Bush left behind, and this will be harder. Once the video of you taking a drunken sh!t on the living room carpet is up on YouTube it’s a loooooong road back to dignity.




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  17. teve tory says:

    The new Michael Wolff book seems to be that multiple people in the trump camp had economic motives for wanting to run, but also LOTS of corruption, so now that they won they’re terrified and turning on each other.

    Bannon saying Don Jr.’s meetings with the russians were ‘unpatriotic’ and maybe ‘treason’ was a shot I didn’t see coming.




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  18. TM01 says:

    I miss the Good Old Days when Respectable World Leaders would speak politely and make grand deals with dictators in order to achieve Peace in our time.

    As we stand by a few years later and watch those dictators detonate nuclear warheads.

    Please, tell me again what successes Clinton and Obama were, and how your ways are SO much better.

    We’ve got the UN approving sanctions against NK; SK stopping tankers headed to NK; NK actually talking about peace. And all without us sending them literal pallets full of cash. When’s the last time all that happened? So far,, it certainly appears Trump’s approach to NK is working.

    Can’t wait for the deal where Un gives up his nuclear arms.




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  19. teve tory says:

    Scott Dworkin

    Multiple people told me this morning Trump is infuriated beyond belief at Steve Bannon’s comments about Don Junior. Saying that Trump thinks Bannon is the traitor. They’ve never seen Trump this angry. The sound of their voices? Absolutely terrified. Expect an unhinged response.

    “I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: ‘O Lord make my enemies ridiculous.’ And God granted it.” – Voltaire




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  20. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @TM01:

    So far,, it certainly appears Trump’s approach to NK is working.

    Explain to me how it is working?
    NK is talking to SK in an effort to drive a wedge between the US and it’s allies in the region. China is selling NK oil. Russia is selling NK oil. We are marginalized in the region because of your Dear Leader’s actions. And they still have nukes.
    I understand that you are enthusiastic about Russia attacking US democracy, about child molesters, and sexual assault. So I guess that explains your view of it.




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  21. KM says:

    @TM01:

    Please, tell me again what successes Clinton and Obama were, and how your ways are SO much better.

    The difference is between being unable to completely stop a hornet infestation of your property via proper containment and actively whacking a nest with a stick to get them to leave. Guess which one has a higher risk of being stung? Or are you one of those people who set the nests on fire and are shocked when their house burns down?

    Nothing stops a country from going nuclear if they really want to – history has shown all you can do is slow the process down, hinder it to peaceful applications if possible and try to impress upon the newest power that this isn’t a friggin’ toy. A nuclear NK is only a problem because of the regime who like Trump think it’s something to use as a bully tactic. A sane regime would be a concern, not red alert.

    Has it ever occurred to you guys that NK ramped up their program *because* they were afraid a nutcase would have nukes to use against them – the same concern we have? They were fairly sure Obama wouldn’t nuke them because he wasn’t crazy – they don’t trust Trump and want to be sure they can nuke us back. Kayfabe – making the world worse one terrible tweet at a time…..




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  22. teve tory says:

    HHAHAHHAHAAHA now trump’s tweeting that bannon sucks.




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  23. KM says:

    @teve tory :

    “It became necessary to destroy the town Trump to save it him”

    Remember, Bannon’s on record for saying sometimes voters need to do things that are against Trump’s wishes and wants to “help him”. Trump’s a figurehead to the agenda, an icon to circle the wagons around. They don’t really need *him*, they need the idea of him. Bannon’ll shoot him the back then proper him up as a martyr if he has to.

    Silly Donald, he thinks he’s in power because he deserves it. We may not have to impeach, he may pull a Cartman. “Screw you guys, I’m going to Mar-a-lago!”




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  24. teve tory says:

    errbody gonna roll on errbody!

    What do prosecutors do when everyone’s trying to roll on everyone else?




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  25. teve tory says:

    Now I really wonder what he’s hiding in those taxes.




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  26. teve tory says:

    The reagan admin saw 138 officials arrested, indicted, or investigated.

    Trump’s not going to beat that, but only because they’re not capable of organizing their criminality on so large a scale.




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  27. michael reynolds says:

    @teve tory:
    He’s hiding the fact that his supposed financial empire is being propped up by Russian money-launderers and he may otherwise be broke.




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  28. inhumans99 says:

    @teve tory:

    I think that President Trump is genuinely nervous that his kids may have to flip on their father or face jail time…Bannon using the T word is much different than someone who works for any of the Fake News sources saying it (NYT, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC, Fox Ne…oops, almost forgot they are a legitimate news source), because President Trump and his flunkies (most of Congress, Drudge, Alex Jones, etc.) can try to roll their eyes at Bannon saying our President is a traitor (I may not like Bannon, but he is right) but the dude is a King Maker who put our treasonous clown into the White House.

    Also, Bannon’s words are in print so he can walk them back but not really. I do wonder if Mueller is eventually going to have a super secret talk with the VIPS in Congress telling them that if President Trump happens to step down (is impeached, whatever) he will find a way to keep Don Jr and Jared out of jail, because I sincerely believe that is where Don Jr and Jared are headed when this is all over unless Mueller gets a much more valuable pelt on his wall when this is all said and done.




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  29. MarkedMan says:

    @TM01:

    Please, tell me again what successes Clinton and Obama were, and how your ways are SO much better.

    Just to make sure the history is straight: Clinton had a strategic and tactical plan with NK that keep them from going nuclear. It was ugly and messy and could have gone south at any minute, but with active and daily management by a competent State Department and some luck, it held. Cheney et al came in blowing sh*t out their ass about “appeasement” and “show ’em how tough we are and they’ll back down because they’re scared of us, see?!”* And the took the US unilaterally out of the agreement. Within months the NK’s had their nuclear program going again and the Bush admin reacted by… doing nothing. Because they had nothing. Because like most modern Republicans they were mesmerized by their own bellowing and the contempt they had for anyone lesser than them, but in the end they had prepared nothing and so they had nothing. Their plans were just talk and Baby Kim’s daddy didn’t care about talk.

    *Never really though about it before but the perfect representation of the modern Republican is the Romeo character played by Carl Dean Switzer (better known as Alfalfa in The Little Rascals) in “It’s a Wonderful Life”. When we first come upon him he’s at the school dance chewing off Mary’s ear about how “Some guy did something to him, but no one would tell him who because they’d be scared too, see, because they know what kind of a guy he is.” Mary is half listening with a glazed look on her face when George Baily walks in. George isn’t full of himself but he’s competent and knows what needs doing and learns the things he doesn’t know and cares about about people and will stick up for them if they are being bullied by the rich or powerful. Mary drops Romeo like a hot rock and heads off with George. And what does our Romeo do? While everyone is dancing and having fun on the gym floor he operates mechanism to retract the floor and opens it up, causing everyone to fall into the pool. If he is shown to be a fool, well, d*mnit, he’s going to wreck it for everyone else. (Okay, in the movie it was funny.)




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  30. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    @teve tory:
    @KM:
    @inhumans99:
    @michael reynolds:
    Wow…this Michael Wolfe/Bannon/Trump thing is blowing up hugely!!!
    Reynolds is right…Don-the Con is worried about decades of money laundering coming to the fore.
    Sarah Huckabee Sanders should have a fun afternoon, I think!!!
    It’s when a moron like him gets this angry that he lashes out. expect pardons, and firing Mueller, any minute….




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  31. KM says:

    @inhumans99:

    I think that President Trump is genuinely nervous that his kids may have to flip on their father or face jail time

    And they will. You’d think considering how much he’s supposed to be worth, one of them would take the bullet and do some time to ensure they get it ALL in the will. Nope – they know there’s no money but what they’re stealing now.

    Trump’s got to be eyeing them all and wondering who’s gonna rat first. Not even a pardon can save them entirely. King Lear’s got no Cordelia, but Goneril and Regan’s a plenty.




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  32. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Kathy: And, ironically enough, most of the refugees would probably be from Red states. (In which case, I’d build a wall, too.)




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  33. MarkedMan says:

    @KM: Kushner is maybe the key here. He is desperate for money, for huge amounts of money. He hocked most of his family’s fortune in order to dramatically overpay for a Manhattan building. Right now it is reported that the only way to avoid bankruptcy is to knock the building down and put something much bigger and shinier in its place. And to do that he needs a bailout to the tune of $4B. Even just to pay off what comes due in a year would cost $600M. What is he willing to do for that money? We already know he tried to cut a deal with some Russian “Businessmen” but the scrutiny surrounding Mueller’s investigation scared them off. His sister and some other family members were trying to sell visas to the Chinese in exchange for overpriced investments in apartments and condos, implying they had an in due to their relationship with the President, but then that got cut off. No one legitimate wants to do business with him because it could draw them down the Russian Mafia rathole. And no one skanky wants to do business because there are too many eyes on any deal. Which leaves him… what? Desperate? Willing to take any risk to save his families business? God, it must have killed him to have schlepped around the mideast begging for money and then find out some moron Saudi princeling blew $500M on a probably-fake DaVinci painting. What he wouldn’t do for that kind of money…. He is ripe for the picking and the Russian mob has it right – there are too many eyes focused on him. This won’t end well.




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  34. Pete S says:

    @KM: I have thought all along that Trump’s kids hate him. My father’s mental acuity is not exactly what it used to be, but I help him out instead of allowing him to go out and make a jackass of himself everyday. His kids could keep him off Twitter if they really wanted to. Deep down they are enjoying this, and as proper Trumps they don’t give a flying f— if their enjoyment comes at the expense of the whole country (or world).

    And so of course they will flip on him the first chance they get. I get the impression that Dad’s presidency is the first chance to make real money this family has had in a while so they will string it out as long as possible. But when the time comes they will have their revenge for the public humiliation he has heaped on them over the years.




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  35. Monala says:

    I posted this on the Pakistan tweet thread: I’m actually going to support James on this one. Here’s a Twitter thread by George Lakoff, talking about better ways to respond to Trump’s tweets than by making them the news story of the hour:

    https://twitter.com/GeorgeLakoff/status/948424436058791937

    TL; DR: How to respond to Trump’s tweets: “Trump is trying to divert our attention from XYZ; here’s what we should be focused on” (and then proceed to talk about XYZ). In other words, don’t let Trump frame the important issues of the hour.

    ============

    I replied to my comment with a few examples:

    “Trump is tweeting about Pakistan to divert our attention from the Russia investigation. Here’s what we now know about Russia.”

    Or, “Trump is tweeting about airline safety to divert our attention from his failure to address this nation’s infrastructure problems. Here’s what we should be doing about infrastructure.”

    Or, “Trump is tweeting about Hillary Clinton because he hopes we’ll forget about the travesty of a tax bill that was just passed, and the fact that 9 million children have just lost their health insurance while billionaires are getting a tax cut. Well, we haven’t forgotten.”

    Or, “Trump is tweeting about his nuclear button because he wants to distract us from realizing how badly he has damaged our standing in the world. Here are some of the concerns of our allies, and how we should address them.”




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  36. Mikey says:

    @Pete S:

    I have thought all along that Trump’s kids hate him.

    One of the things revealed in Wolff’s book is that Trump, Bannon, and Ivanka were all in the Oval Office, with Bannon and Ivanka in a heated argument, when Bannon pointed at Ivanka and said “you’re a fvcking liar.” And rather than coming to his daughter’s defense, or apparently even showing any reaction to this direct attack on his child, Trump simply said to her, “I told you this was a tough town, baby.”

    So, yeah, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re right.




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  37. SenyorDave says:

    @Mikey: One of the things revealed in Wolff’s book is that Trump, Bannon, and Ivanka were all in the Oval Office, with Bannon and Ivanka in a heated argument, when Bannon pointed at Ivanka and said “you’re a fvcking liar.”

    It is truly a sad day when Steve Bannon is the voice of reason.




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  38. Mikey says:

    @Monala: You’re giving Trump far more credit than he deserves. He isn’t tweeting to divert or distract from anything. There’s a very direct and immediate correlation between his tweets and what was on Fox News immediately preceding them.

    Also, while I understand James’ point (and Lakoff’s), I still disagree with their recommendations for responding to Trump’s tweets. Even if the tweets weren’t official POTUS statements, and legally relevant, it would still be important to respond to them with a high level of consternation, simply to avoid normalizing them. We must never allow such statements to simply go by, or even try to re-frame them as “Trump is trying to distract from X.” Trump’s Twitter habit and the output it produces are fundamentally opposed to every norm of both small-D democratic and small-R republican governance. Trolling about the potential for employment of nuclear weapons by turning it into a dick-measuring contest IS NOT NORMAL AND SHOULD NEVER BE NORMAL.

    So that’s why we raise a stink when it happens.




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  39. Monala says:

    @Mikey: The way I read Lakoff’s point is that he’s not making a value judgment about Trump’s tweets and their meaning. Rather, he is recommending a tactic that should be adopted regardless of the content of the tweets or Trump’s reason for writing them. The goal should always be to control the important topics of the day, and not allow Trump to control them.

    It’s a good thought exercise: right now, what is important? What urgent issues should our nation be focusing on? My examples were based on my answers to those questions–re-authorizing CHIP, strengthening relationships with our allies, doing something to rebuild our infrastructure. Yours might be different. The point is, regardless of what Trump says and where and how he says it, how can we steer the conversation back to the urgent issues of the day? (And yes, Trump is an urgent issue of the day, but attention to him feeds the monster, so let’s turn our attention to other urgent issues, and be relentless about it).




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  40. Monala says:

    @Monala: To @Mikey: To add to that, Lakoff does say in his Twitter thread that you can express consternation – but you do it briefly, and then turn to the topics you want to focus on.




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  41. James Pearce says:

    @Monala:

    Trump is tweeting about his nuclear button because he wants to distract us from realizing how badly he has damaged our standing in the world.

    Or “Trump is tweeting about his nuclear button because he has no idea what to do with NK and is okay with Kim Jong Un deciding the future of the region.”

    @Mikey:

    He isn’t tweeting to divert or distract from anything. There’s a very direct and immediate correlation between his tweets and what was on Fox News immediately preceding them.

    What do you think Fox News is doing?




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  42. James Pearce says:

    @Monala: Also, re Lakoff. I was chilled when he wrote this:

    “Think of Trump as a puppeteer, his tweets as the strings, and anyone who retweets/shares him as the puppet. Cut the damn strings!”




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  43. michael reynolds says:

    Oh, bullsh!t. Trump is not trying to do anything. That analysis is just nonsense. His own people call him a ‘fwcking moron,’ and a, ‘child’ and and, ‘idiot.’ That’s his own staff. Did you ever hear anyone on Obama’s staff say anything remotely like that? Trump is a moron. Open your eyes. Not only is this not ten-dimensional chess, it’s not chess. It’s not Chutes and Ladders. It’s making mud pies in the road.

    The emperor has no clothes. Jesus H: use your senses.




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  44. Monala says:

    @michael reynolds: I agree with that, but I think Lakoff has a point. It doesn’t matter why Trump is doing what he is doing, or tweeting what he tweets. Like you, I doubt he has some grand plan. But the way the media and the public respond to it creates its own impact, if you will. I think what Lakoff is offering is a different path: suck the energy out of Trump’s room, and focus on what really matters.




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  45. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @SenyorDave: And did you catch the quote from him that Monala posted on the other thread? It was something to the effect of “leaking the information to Breitbart or maybe some more credible outlet.”

    That seemed cold.




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  46. Just 'nutha ig'nint cracker says:

    @Monala: Also, it is important to remember that Trump’s modus operendi (if you will, and assuming that there are motives–which I think we should even if there aren’t any) is to suck the oxygen out of the room by drawing attention to himself. Lakoff is noting that the solution to that tactic is to open a window and let some air back into the room.




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