The White House produced in recent days a lot of Twitter vapor — but little that can be called news.
“A complete Witch Hunt!” President Donald Trump wailed again about the Russia probe that has led to five guilty pleas and the indictment of 19 individuals and three companies.
He’s perpetuating what is so far a non-story — how he might or might not get rid of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, or deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein or special counsel Robert Mueller.
When Trump does something, he will do it. He created all this speculation in the first place last May by firing FBI Director James Comey. When asked to clarify about the other three, he said only, “They’re still there.” Everyone knows that.
The bottom line from this tweet is zero.
On Sunday, the president tweeted: “We are a long way from conclusion on North Korea, maybe things will work out, and maybe they won’t — only time will tell . . . But the work I am doing now should have been done a long time ago!”
There you have it. Maybe the planned meeting with Kim Jung Un matters, maybe it doesn’t. This didn’t stop Donald Trump Jr. from retweeting someone saying the president deserved the Nobel Prize. But that’s Twitter vapor for you — the taste of a momentary blurt and nothing else.
“Mexico, whose laws on immigration are very tough, must stop people from going through Mexico and into the U.S.,” Trump tweeted Monday. “We may make this a condition of the new NAFTA Agreement. Our Country cannot accept what is happening! Also, we must get Wall funding fast.”
Trump has a Republican Congress to work with on his goals, including the border wall. He also has vowed to get rid of NAFTA. In terms of news, the Twitter vapor disappears meaninglessly into the air.
As if he were telling the world something new, Trump tweeted that “Sylvester Stallone called me with the story of heavyweight boxing champion Jack Johnson. His trials and tribulations were great, his life complex and controversial.
“Others have looked at this over the years, most thought it would be done, but yes, I am considering a Full Pardon!”
“Considering” isn’t doing, of course. Johnson died in a car crash in 1946. When Trump actually does something, news media will cover it.
Trump has made much of the idea that Twitter allows him to communicate unfiltered with the American people. But sometimes it looks like he’s using the social medium to send a personal message to just one or two people — while everyone else is welcome to remain flummoxed.
On Saturday, Trump bemoaned a New York Times story suggesting he has demeaned and neglected longtime attorney Michael Cohen, who is now under federal pressure and in a position to potentially damage the president.
The flamboyant Roger Stone, a close Trump adviser whose own relationship with the real estate heir has run hot and cold, is quoted as saying, “Donald goes out of his way to treat him [Cohen] like garbage.”
Trump in his response blasts the Times for quoting “a drunk/drugged up loser who hates Michael, a fine person with a wonderful family.” Trump does not identify the target of his poison. But clearly Cohen can derive a message: I’m with you, hang in there, do the right thing.
Vaping is advertised as satisfying a certain craving. Maybe Twitter vapor can work the same way for the president.