Colin Kaepernick; Donald Trump; Snoop Dogg (Getty/Thearon W. Henderson/Reuters/Rick Wilking/YouTube/Salon)

Who's running America while Donald Trump tweets?

Trump's fights with celebs like Colin Kaepernick and Snoop Dogg aren't just unpresidential; they're unproductive

D. Watkins
March 23, 2017 9:00PM (UTC)

The White House's website offers a handy explainer on the executive branch, complete with a detailed job description for the president. Here's what Donald Trump was elected to do as the U.S. head of state and head of government, as well as commander-in-chief of the U.S. military:

Under Article II of the Constitution, the President is responsible for the execution and enforcement of the laws created by Congress. Fifteen executive departments — each led by an appointed member of the President's Cabinet — carry out the day-to-day administration of the federal government. They are joined in this by other executive agencies such as the CIA and Environmental Protection Agency, the heads of which are not part of the Cabinet, but who are under the full authority of the President. The President also appoints the heads of more than 50 independent federal commissions, such as the Federal Reserve Board or the Securities and Exchange Commission, as well as federal judges, ambassadors, and other federal offices. The Executive Office of the President (EOP) consists of the immediate staff to the President, along with entities such as the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of the United States Trade Representative.

I’m no political genius, but it seems like a pretty complicated job to be in charge of both the domestic and foreign policy of the most powerful country in the world, and yet somehow President Trump finds the time to also engage in Twitter beefs, like his recent spat with rapper Snoop Dogg.


Last week, the 45-year-old rapper released a video, “Lavender,” where he shoots a fake gun at a clown that looks like Trump. This apparently enraged Trump, and Donald being Donald, took to Twitter: “Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg‪, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!”

Many in the hip-hop community took offense at Trump’s comments, calling him out for caring more about TV and pop culture than his actual job. Rapper T.I. had the best response on Instagram:


Snoop Dogg isn’t the only prominent African-American in Trump’s crosshairs. At a Monday rally in Louisville, Kentucky, — yes, he won the election, but strangely, he continues to campaign for president — Trump took aim at the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick.

"Your San Francisco quarterback,” he said. “I’m sure nobody ever heard of him. There was an article today, it was reported, that NFL owners don’t want to pick him up because they don’t want to get a nasty tweet from Donald Trump. Do you believe that?"

The crowd cheered as the president who claimed he would bring jobs back mocked an American for being unemployed.


“I have followed the Kaepernick story, and I think it’s personally not a good thing," Trump continued. "I think it’s a terrible thing. And you know, maybe he should find a country that works better for him. Let him try; it won’t happen."

Kaepernick has yet to respond, probably because he’s working on more serious issues like the $1 million he just helped raise to bring aid to Somalia. Unlike the president, maybe he's not fishing for insult targets all day.


My question is, How does Donald Trump have the time to get into these pissing matches with celebrities? Barack Obama, our first social-media president, was well versed in pop culture and endured praise and backlash from many in the spotlight, but he never took the time to regularly bicker like this in public.

The job description suggests the president should have many more pressing issues on his plate than rappers and football players. Yet we now have a president who thinks intelligence briefings are a waste of time, and mocking Snoop Dogg is an urgent matter.

D. Watkins

D. Watkins is an Editor at Large for Salon. He is also a professor at the University of Baltimore and founder of the BMORE Writers Project. Watkins is the author of the New York Times best-selling memoirs “The Beast Side: Living  (and Dying) While Black in America” and "The Cook Up: A Crack Rock Memoir." His latest book, "We Speak For Ourselves: A Word From Forgotten Black America," is out now.

MORE FROM D. WatkinsFOLLOW @dwatkinsworld

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Colin Kaepernick Donald Trump Snoop Dogg Twitter

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