(AP/Evan Vucci)

Trump campaign staff to White House: The president won't make embarrassing tweets if he doesn't read any negative publicity

Trump's campaign staff managed to curb his bad tweeting habits by keeping negative coverage away from him


Matthew Rozsa
February 23, 2017 12:32AM (UTC)

President Donald Trump's incessant tweeting has had a lot of undesirable consequences — from creating potential geopolitical crises with China and North Korea and praising a Russian dictator to possibly violating Twitter's rules for abusive behavior. With that in mind, former Trump campaign workers have advice for current Trump staffers on controlling his Twitter tantrums: Do everything you can to avoid negative press.

"If candidate Trump was upset about unfair coverage, it was productive to show him that he was getting fair coverage from outlets that were persuadable," Sam Nunberg, his former communications director, told Politico. "The same media that our base digests and prefers is going to be the base for his support. I would assume the president would like see positive and preferential treatment from those outlets and that would help the operation overall."

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Politico reported that campaign staffers made efforts to promote Trump's good side following disparaging tweets. In one example, the staff convinced conservative media outlets to cover Trump's meeting with Gold Star Mothers of Florida after his disastrous Twitter diatribes against the father of a Muslim U.S. solider who died in Iraq. Politico also described how staffers undertook similar efforts during Trump's incessant tweeting about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado.

The aides curbed their boss' temper by sending out a barrage of positive tweets promoting favorable coverage from "media amplifiers like Fox News hosts and conservative columnists" so that Trump wouldn't feel the narrative in the news was too skewed against him.

"He saw there was activity so he didn't feel like he had to respond," a former campaign official told Politico. "He sends out these tweets when he feels like people aren't responding enough for him."

All of this reinforces the notion that Trump's media addiction is not a harmless quirk. Rather, it is a serious character flaw with potentially severe ramifications for his presidency.


Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a breaking news writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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