Politics & Government

Today in Trump tweets, Feb. 26, 2017: Another ‘rigged’ race and a New York Times ad

By Greg Hadley

ghadley@mcclatchy.com

Onlookers watch as President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with a security guard as he leaves the New York Times building following a meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, in New York.
Onlookers watch as President-elect Donald Trump shakes hands with a security guard as he leaves the New York Times building following a meeting, Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2016, in New York. AP

President Donald Trump took comfort in the familiar Sunday, tweeting about some of his most common complaints from the campaign trail and young presidency.

In his first tweet of the day, sent shortly after 6:30 a.m. Eastern time, Trump alleged that the race for the chair of the Democratic National Committee, which ended Saturday, was “rigged” against Rep. Keith Ellison, who many saw as the standard-bearer on the party’s more liberal wing.

Ellison lost the race to former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, an Obama administration official who had the backing of former vice president Joe Biden and was considered the more centrist candidate.

As a presidential candidate, Trump repeatedly accused the DNC and the Democratic establishment of favoring the eventual nominee, Hillary Clinton, while attempting to sabatoge the insurgent candidacy of Bernie Sanders.

The DNC was eventually rocked by revelations from the Wikileaks email hack that former chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and other top officials had contemplated ways to undermine Sanders in the primary. Schultz eventually resigned from her post.

However, there was no indication that Saturday’s election of Perez was rigged in his favor, as he won over Ellison by a 235-200 margin. Clinton never formally endorsed either candidate, though she had considered Perez as a potential vice presidential nominee. In his first act as chair, Perez named Ellison deputy chair in an attempt to unify the party.

Shortly after his first tweet, Trump renewed his criticism of the New York Times and a recent ad campaign the news organization has launched to coincide with Sunday’s Oscar ceremonies. The ad campaign focuses on the tagline, “The truth is more important now than ever,” but Trump pronounced himself unimpressed.

According to Ad Week, this is not the first time the New York Times has taken out a TV ad, doing so in 2010.

Trump’s criticism of the Times is nothing new. Since his election, he has sent 23 tweets attacking the newspaper, including 13 since Jan. 28, often using the adjective “failing.” However, the paper has said that subscriptions actually soared in 2016. Meanwhile, the paper’s parent company has enjoyed a recent surge on the stock market, reacing a two-year high in mid February. While prices have since declined, they are still higher than any other point since June 2014, per Yahoo Finance.

Finally, Trump tweeted about his administration’s alleged ties to Russia. While Trump’s national security adviser Michael Flynn was forced to resign after it was revealed he had lied about conversations he had with the Russian ambassador before taking office, Trump has since repeatedly gone on the offensive to deny any contacts between the Kremlin and his team.

Sunday’s tweet was extremely similar to another tweet Trump sent on Feb. 16, in which he also called coverage of Russia “FAKE NEWS” and said it was being advanced by Democrats eager to deflect attention away from their election defeat.

This time around, however, Trump also attacked the media and added a criticism of “illegal leaks,” a recent focus of his administration, desperate to halt a stream of information leaked to the media by unnamed sources.

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