Put the phone down, Mr. President. Stop with the tweeting. You’re hurting the country. You’re weakening us globally. You’re diminishing the presidency. You’re embarrassing.
Just this week, you’ve assailed your own Justice Department for its defense of your travel ban. You’ve attacked the mayor of a city that’s reeling from a terrorist attack. Now, your former FBI director, James Comey, is about to testify before Congress. We know what that means. Don’t do it.
Pick up that phone, Mr. President. We love it when you tweet. It’s an extraordinary window for Americans into their president and what he thinks. And yeah, it’s great for the media, too. Instead of slogging through the bureaucracy of communications for nuggets of what’s really happening in your presidency, we get unfiltered authenticity delivered to us each day – 140 characters at a time. It’s like Christmas morning every morning.
Put the phone down, Mr. President. Your tweets are straining our relationship with allies. They’re destabilizing decades worth of diplomacy. The fight you picked with the mayor of London this week was just the latest Twitter slap at a friend of America, the latest outburst that sent diplomats scurrying to undo the damage. Worse, perhaps, are the more fragile and complicated relationships you unsettle so casually, as you did Tuesday when you appeared to take credit for Gulf nations cutting ties with Qatar over terrorism concerns. Qatar, of course, is host to a military base that’s critical to our fight against ISIS. It’s a partnership the State Department and Pentagon have delicately navigated. Guess who had to clean things up once you hit send?
Pick up that phone, Mr. President. Your tweets reveal the truths behind your policies – and the falsehoods your administration too frequently offers. That includes the travel ban that officials insisted wasn’t a travel ban, until you undercut them with tweets this week. That also includes how you revealed classified information to Russians in the Oval Office, which officials denied last month until you tweeted otherwise.
Your tweets unspin the spin, for which we in the media are grateful. They weaken the legal case for that travel ban that targets Muslims, and they strengthen the case that you are interfering in investigations involving Russia. They are a public record of what you really think, what you really want, and what you’re really trying to do. Keep it up.
Put down that phone, Mr. President. You’re diminishing the office you occupy. The tantrums you type are not the words of a leader, but an angry 70-year-old in his living room chair. They also injure other institutions – Congress, the courts and, yes, the media. By tearing them down a tweet at a time, you weaken America from within.
Pick up that phone, Mr. President, because really, Twitter isn’t the problem. It wasn’t just tweeting that caused European leaders to declare they could no longer rely on the United States as a global partner. You didn’t just need 140 characters for Americans to worry about your dangerous disregard for separation of powers.
If you deleted the Twitter app for good right now, you would still be Donald Trump.
Twitter may accelerate the damage you do, but in the end, it’s just a window. Keep typing, Mr. President. It’s how we know what we’re getting.