nav search
Data Center Software Security Transformation DevOps Business Personal Tech Science Emergent Tech Bootnotes BOFH

back to article
Donald Trump's tweets: Are they presidential statements or not?

Silver badge
Devil

I dunno...

Is the man himself presidential or not ? See icon ---------------------->

26
4

Re: I dunno...

"Is the man himself presidential"

He is according to the rule-of-thumb exemplified by Dubbya - a Presidential Moment is when your wife comes to tell you she leaving you and running off with the dog "because he knows how to listen" and you absentmindedly pat her on the head and give her a dog biscuit.

1
0
Silver badge

Analogy?

How would it be if he wrote out a statement and pinned it to a notice board just inside the White House gates? This would of course be photographed and posted for the world to see.

2
0
Silver badge

I prefer a third explanation.

We are watching the ramblings of a man in the early stages of senility.

49
9
WTF?

Re: I prefer a third explanation.

Hmmm ...

"We are watching the ramblings of a man in the early stages of senility."

Make no mistake, the man's an asshole or a dickhead or both, but he's not senile.

From what I have seen/read, he's always been like that.

It didn't matter much because, you know, it was just another AH/DH on TV.

But now, he's the official Oval Office resident.

And it *does* matter.

42
3
Silver badge

Re: I prefer a third explanation.

We are watching the ramblings of a man in the early stages of senility.

And in the final stages of stupidity.

26
7
Silver badge

Re: I prefer a third explanation.

And in the final stages of stupidity.

No, I'm sure he can still demonstrate several further stages of stupidity.

12
2

Re: I prefer a third explanation.

"But now, he's the official Offal Office resident."

Fixed it for you.

1
0
Silver badge

Am I correct in thinking the primary point of the article is that ambiguity in presidential communications is bad? I agree, and we are given two contrasting examples, Trump and Obama. Obama chose to have two separate Twitter accounts while Trump has only one.

Clearly Trump's heavy twitting is making ambiguity waves, but what about Obama? Okay, one of his accounts was "personal," but we're discussing a sitting president of the USA. All communications from such a person are relevant and important, by definition. So Obama's way isn't really any clearer or better than Trump's, it just pretends to be.

Question. Was that "Official" Obama account ever actually used for something official, with real teeth?

6
50
Silver badge

God forbid

God forbid that it is both considered official and "with teeth".

If it was, US would have been in a state of war with several countries by now. It would have dragged all of us into that as well.

18
3
Silver badge

Re: God forbid

God forbid that it is both considered official and "with teeth".

The obvious solution would be to shut down Twitter. Send the founders, investors, management, tech and marketing staff to a forced labour camp in the Peruvian jungle, never to return. Wipe all their systems, erase all user data and accounts, destroy the backups, and all system documentation. Erase every copy that can be found of the inane brain-dribblings of every one of Twitter's users. Make it illegal to name the-service-that-no-longer-runs, make it illegal to copy, or in the slightest way emulate the defunct service.

Humanity would be so much better off without Twitter. And arguably that was the case before Chump, but even more so now..

27
3
Silver badge

Re: God forbid

Rinse and repeat with Facebook, then Instagram, and then probably the whole damn internet, just to be sure. Letters and smoke signals were good enough for out ancestors. So let's stick to them, people!

11
2
Silver badge

Am I correct in thinking ...

No.

31
1

Nice mis-type there John

Yes the "heavy twitting" Maybe if someone stuck all the furniture on the ceiling on the Oval Office, he'd walk around doing a handstand like a proper twit.

Obama's account was put on hold while he was in office, Tweets made from the POTUS account by Obama were signed 'BO' (His initials, obviously, although if you were to make fun of his initials, I guess Donny signing off DT might explain some of his slurped speech)

To get back to the original question though, Donald Trump is the President of the United States, words, tweets, emails sent while he is in Office are coming from the President of the United States and are official statements, its not like he has the "opinions are my own and do not reflect the opinions of my employers the American people (or President Putin - yes, I just put that in to wind up a few).

Anything else is just a poor attempt at smoke and mirrors to distance himself from something controversial down the line. I guess though if he is still using his unsecured Samsung phone, the Twitter app is long out of date and adding the @potus account instead might not work.

26
2
Silver badge

John,

It would matter and be better for everyone if there were two accounts. Clouding things Obama isn't the answer as these are two different individuals. However, Obama did separate "professional" from "personal" and if he had been a more prolific user, the difference would be there. With Trump, it's murky at best as to what is "personal" and what is "professional". Previous to Twitter, President's didn't have this quandary. What was mean as personal was done personally and what was "Presidential" was done via the channels.

This is new territory to say the least and the DOJ isn't helping matters by defending the one account with two opposite defenses.

22
1
Silver badge

"Clearly Trump's heavy twitting is making ambiguity waves, but what about Obama? "

Looks like you've got a severe case of the whatabouts.

32
1

Re: God forbid

Letters and smoke signals? Devil's magic. My ancestors never left their valley. They yodeled their messages.

6
0
Silver badge

> "Looks like you've got a severe case of the whatabouts."

I snuck that 'what about' in there just to see who would jump at it first. ;-/

3
24
Silver badge

"I snuck that 'what about' in there just to see who would jump at it first. ;-/"

Did you? Or are you trying to make light of being called out for being a whatabouter? Hmmm.

18
0
Silver badge

Dear John.....

"Am I correct in thinking the primary point of the article is that ambiguity in presidential communications is bad?"

Yes

" I agree, and we are given two contrasting examples, Trump and Obama. Obama chose to have two separate Twitter accounts while Trump has only one."

No. read the article, 30 seconds of googling, or just consult your own memory. There are 3 twitter accounts being discussed here. The personal account of BO, the personal account of DJT and the POTUS account. BO kept his personal and POTUS account separate, and did not publicly tweet from his personal account while he was in office. Thus for BO, the POTUS account where clearly public statements from his position as POTUS, and stuff on his personal account was personal opinion. DJT has combined both his personal account and the POTUS account, and makes statements from both.

Hopefully you can see how these two situations are pretty much complete opposites. Separate accounts for Obama, combined accounts for Trump. Obama's tweets are clear as to which role he is in at the time, not so for Trump.

" All communications from such a person are relevant and important, by definition. "

No, FFS. A statement from your official position is different from a statement made as a private citizen. It should be clear what "hat" you are wearing at the time. It's not clear which one Trump is using, and it's clear if Trump even understands the separation between himself and his role as POTUS.

"Question. Was that "Official" Obama account ever actually used for something official, with real teeth?"

Are you serious? OK, lets be clear, Barry was a lawyer. Lawyers, as a rule, don't go around trying to do official business via social media. They tend to be fond of dead trees, parchment, procedures, all that sort of thing. So no, Obama did not use twitter for anything involving legally binding communication. It seemed to just be another form of press release, albeit direct rather than via the media.

Just a general note, if you can't explain a persons actions on their own merits, employing whataboutary is a clear indication that those actions where indefensible.

Clinton and Obama are not in government, are not currently running for government, and have been so for a year now. If it's really someone elses fault then you really need to move your scapegoats onto something else. Deep state, MSM, fluoride in the water, RINOs, take your pick. None are as appealing to certain elements as "that damn woman" and the cheeky Kenyan, but you'll make do :)

23
0
Silver badge

"but what about Obama?"

Don't know whether you've noticed, BJ, but Obama isn't the sitting president anymore. It's some fellow called Trump now. Perhaps we ought to focus on what he's doing?

22
0
Silver badge

Re: Dear John.....

"It should be clear what "hat" you are wearing at the time. It's not clear which one Trump is using..."

Yeah, it is. He's wearing the ass-hat.

18
1

"This is new territory to say the least and the DOJ isn't helping matters by defending the one account with two opposite defenses."

So does this mean that whichever case they win (or lose) first will automatically lose them (or win them) the other one?

2
0
Anonymous Coward

Trumps tweets are only relevant because of their abject stupidity - whether you like him or not, Obama was at least an intelligent grown up who didn't use his bully pulpit to spew nonsense. Trumps big mouth will be his downfall but hopefully he won't take us all with him.

5
0
Silver badge

> "Did you? Or are you trying to make light of being called out for being a whatabouter?"

Well, since I reject the amusing assertion that using the words "what" and "about" in sequence is a bad thing, the answer is "no." Frankly, I smile when the small-minded try to accuse those who do say that of being guilty of political incorrectness. Pathetic. Am I supposed to modify my language patterns to conform to whatever the left tells me to, on pain of being chastised by the likes of you? It is to laugh.

0
5
Silver badge

> "Don't know whether you've noticed, BJ, but Obama isn't the sitting president anymore. It's some fellow called Trump now. Perhaps we ought to focus on what he's doing?"

Ah, so airbrush the inconvenient past, Soviet style? Thanks but no thanks. I'll continue to remember things that have happened, if it's all the same to you.

0
7
Silver badge

Re: God forbid

Valley? Belgium to that - trust me, stay in the trees.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: God forbid

My ancestors never left their valley. They yodeled their messages.

From both of their heads at once? While scratching themselves with their 6 fingers..

0
0
Silver badge

@Big John

So your, "I used whataboutism to catch you all out" was Fake News? Sad.

I'm not pulling you up on use of language, political-non-correctness, or any other red-herring you want to throw around.

I'm pulling you up on your use of whataboutism.

0
0
Silver badge

"Ah, so airbrush the inconvenient past, Soviet style?"

Says the man using whataboutery!

IRONY OVERLOAD!!!

0
0
Silver badge

"Ah, so airbrush the inconvenient past, Soviet style"

Airbrush the past? Soviet Style? You really want to talk about historical revisionism in America? Yeah, lets do that. Lets start with Reagan and go backwards....

...I don't think you'd like that. Not at all.

(Also, be wary of assuming that because someone is a critic of Trump that they are automatically a fan of Obama. That's called a false dilemma and specifically in this instance, is not true. Obama had many failings as president too, though perhaps not as severe as Trump you could say.)

0
0

God bless the GEOTUS

The storm is coming.

2
2
Silver badge

I'd have thought that when you take on a post of sufficient prominence any statement you make in public has to be treated as being made in that official capacity unless it concerns matters outside the scope of that post as it must be assumed that it reflects the thinking that informs the decisions you will make in that capacity. Is there anything outside the scope of POTUS?

19
0

I think this is spot on.

If I was the head of the Sausage Roll Maker's Association, and said that a particular baker's sausage rolls were terrible, or delicious, that would be considered an official opinion (whether I intended it or not). If I said something similar about their bakewell tarts, it wouldn't.

He is the President of the United States. Anything he says, in public, which has a bearing on the USA (which is pretty much everything, in their opinion at least) should be considered an official statement from the President, not a comment by Trump.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

Of course they are Presidential Statements

or they will be ruled as being once one of his tweets resuls in someone getting killed.

Everytime I see him on TV, I don't see him, but I see George C Scott in Dr Strangelove.

23
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: Of course they are Presidential Statements

Of course we can't directly attribute his tweets but I'd say there's a case to make for 45 being responsible for inciting death by domestic terrorist of more than one or two already.

The wheels of justice turn slowly but grind exceedingly fine, let's hope Trumplethinskin gets caught up in them and is unable to escape.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

legally entitled to block accounts

Yes, there is an amendment on freedom of speech but there is no amendment as to where you can do it. Feel free to shout at the moon.

6
2
Silver badge

Re: legally entitled to block accounts

It wasn't a point of free speech.

The Trump twitter feed blocked people following his tweets

If the tweets are official presidential statements and he is blocking a citizen from receiving them that raises a few issues - like the next tax bill being kept secret after it is enacted and only being published on his special billionaires only email list

35
1
Silver badge

Re: legally entitled to block accounts

"The Trump twitter feed blocked people following his tweets"

But you can still choose to view them... You don't even need to be signed in for that!

7
0

Re: legally entitled to block accounts

I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think it works like that. An impediment has been put in place against specific individuals from reading statements made by @realDonaldTrump feed. The fact that the impediment is fairly easy to work around probably isn't that relevant to the legal argument.

I'm wary of trying to make an analogy but if someone steals your bike they can't use the argument "but it was a really rubbish lock and really easy to pick" because the principle is that you had asserted your control/ownership of the bike and your intent that it should remain where you left it by using a lock, no matter how bad it was.

7
1
Silver badge

Re: legally entitled to block accounts

"An impediment has been put in place against specific individuals from reading statements made by @realDonaldTrump feed"

Nope - nothing to stop anyone reading them. All this means is that you don't get automatically notified of them and that's not the same thing at all.

0
5
Bronze badge

Re: legally entitled to block accounts

>Nope - nothing to stop anyone reading them. All this means is that you don't get automatically notified of them and that's not the same thing at all.

Nothing to stop anyone reading them - except knowing that they exist.

You really aren't thinking this through, are you?

'Blocking' is an impediment.

5
0
Silver badge

Re: legally entitled to block accounts

"Nothing to stop anyone reading them - except knowing that they exist."

This rather brings to mind that legal instrument relating to disused toilets and signs about leopards.

1
0
Bronze badge

File under Entertainment

I've never read any of his tweets, ever, and i doubt i ever would but they, and the circus* that follows them, sound very entertaining.

* Including the propganda that the BBC pump out. I dread to think what (increasing) proportion of their website articles consist entirely of "MOG tweets".

MOG=Meets our agenda(s)

7
3

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Silver badge

21st Century Schizoid Man

It seems that no one can agree: even the US Department of Justice, which has represented the short messages from his @realDonaldTrump account as "official statements" in one lawsuit and "personal use of social media" in another.

This statement would, at first blush, indicate a severe personality disorder in the Justice Dept. (and considering the suddenly memory-impaired wank who's putatively running the place currently, that would be a difficult assertion to refute). But really, folks, this is nothing but latter-day Republicanism: make any statement, take any position that is politically convenient at the time. If it happens to be diametrically opposed to the position you took just 15 minutes ago, no problem; simply stick you fingers in your ears and yell, loudly, "LA! LA! LA! LA! LA! CLINTON!!"

26
2
Anonymous Coward

Re: 21st Century Schizoid Man

Upvote just for the Crimso reference - hope you've managed to catch one of their recent tours.

4
0

Re: 21st Century Schizoid Man

Much as it hurts to say this, I think that might be a bit unfair. As the article says:

"The Department of Justice is right now doing what all defendants in lawsuits attempt to do: argue whatever points they think will make it most likely that the lawsuit will be dismissed before it gets to trial or judicial decision."

This might then be more of a criticism of the US legal system where much seems to be decided before anything gets to court and becomes concrete and public (c.f. the recent revelations about how many probably-criminal harassment cases are settled out-of-court where, conveniently, severe gagging conditions can be imposed). During this pre-court phase it seems that you can make any argument that you think might stick as long as it doesn't directly contradict existing legislation or court decision. That could well be why the two organisations bringing the court cases are so keen to get a court decision and the DoJ is pushing so hard not to get one...

0
0
Bronze badge
FAIL

Obama

Also ... Barack Obama is a card-carrying member of ISIS and he was *definitely* born in Kenya.

11
3
Silver badge

Re: Obama

Worse - he himself admits that he was born "On an Island in the Pacific" and we all know that judges there don't count for US Law.

12
0

Page:

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

The Register - Independent news and views for the tech community. Part of Situation Publishing