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When a President’s Tweets Ape the Squeals of a Swine

"This small mind controls the nuclear codes," says Tristam. Photo: Notions Capital (Flickr Creative Commons)

What struck me in Donald Trump’s latest hurl of tweets, among other foulness, was the time of the tweets: around 9 a.m., when most of us have already been neck-deep in work for a few hours.

What is this president’s chief of staff doing, if anything, that would make it possible for the “leader of the free world” (the quote marks are necessary disclaimers should the phrase trigger an aneurysm) to have had the time a) to have a conversation with a staffer on what might or might not have been talked about on a morning cable news show, b) to take the time to address it in a pair of tweets immediately after a tweet about a sugar deal with Mexico. Was that it for the president’s schedule today? A photo-op on the sugar deal, then tweeting and TV watching the rest of the day? Of course the tweets were written just before the end of Morning Joe on MSNBC: he was watching. He was already on TV time for the day.

That’s not the scandal here. It should be, but even scandal has become devalued in this presidency. The tweets about Morning Joe’s Mika Brzezinski are disgusting and too much like the “blood coming out of her wherever” attack on Megyn Kelly at that debate eons ago. But so is the serial tweeting of a man whose megaton vulgarity is hourly making America more crass than it was the day before.

It’s not exactly clear why Trump was attacking the Morning Joe duo today, though yesterday Brzezinski had made fun of a fabricated Time magazine cover Trump had created for himself and hung in “at least five” of Trump’s golf clubs, including one in South Florida, according to the Washington Post. The man who blurts “fake news” at every chance cooked up a bogus Time cover for himself and passed it off as fact, along with other vanity covers. This small mind controls the nuclear codes.

Then came the tweets.


From the mouth of any other human being, these would be the words of a swine. Let’s see now how quickly and fervently the Jeffrey Lords of the realm will rally around the swine, lipstick in hand.

But Trump’s tweets, his hurls to the masses, are now like our so-beloved mass shootings. They happen. They’re decried. They’re forgotten. Until the next hurl (or the next mass shooting). His GOP acolytes criticize them just enough to remain on the right side of propriety, but never denounce them. Like the right honorable senator from South Carolina who prattles on about how it’s beneath the dignity of the White House, but clearly not beneath it enough that he shouldn’t stoop to equally debased policies, written in the same style, designed to have the same violent effect not on a couple of television talking heads, but on tens of millions of people. (Sen. Lindsay Graham had no problem with Trumpcare’s demolition of safety nets.)

It’s the Paul Ryan approach, taking a break from pleasuring the president just long enough to spit out the requisite waiver: “Obviously, I don’t see that as an appropriate comment.” But there’s a job to do. And maybe the tweets are a hoax. Everything else is.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

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Pierre Tristam

Pierre Tristam

Pierre Tristam is a journalist, writer, editor and lecturer. He is currently the editor and publisher of, a non-profit news site in Florida. A native of Beirut, Lebanon, who became an American citizen in 1986, Pierre is one of the United States' only Arab Americans with a regular current affairs column in a mainstream, metropolitan newspaper. Reach him at: or follow him through twitter: @pierretristam

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