Did you really think it was always Trump, sitting in his bathrobe on Sunday mornings, bowl of Cheerios in his lap while ranting at CNN, sending out furious toddler tantrum-esque tweets with machine gun-like speed? Although that (strangely) provides a lovely soul-satisfying image of our deranged leader, apparently it’s not always Trump himself tapping out tweets, even when it sounds like him.
Sometimes, it’s his staff.
And how do West Wing employees who draft these not-Trump tweets make us all think it’s him? According to The Boston Globe, staffers intentionally overuse the exclamation point, use poor grammar, capitalize random words, use fragments and loosely connected ideas.
Yep!! they have Him Pegged EXACTLY!! Refrigerator!!
Apparently when a White House employee wants the president to tweet about a topic, they just provide three or four sample tweets and then Trump picks the one he likes best. Great process. I’m envisioning a dart board or maybe him spinning around in a chair with his finger out, waiting to land on his “favorite”, but that’s because I’m a bit of a cynic. His process is almost (not at all) like Mitt Romney’s process which required 22 different people to sign off on a tweet or Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama’s, who both had strict controls in place to ensure their messages were clean and concise. Yes, almost not at all alike.
Andrew McGill, who is a senior product manager and writer at the Atlantic, did something to help us all figure this craziness out. In 2017, he created a bot to help decipher if it is Trump or staff-Trump tweeting. It’s a Twitter account called @TrumpOrNotBot that rates the authenticity of tweets sent from Trump’s Twitter account.
For instance, according to the bot, there is a 96% chance this tweet was actually written by Trump:
What ever happened to the Server, at the center of so much Corruption, that the Democratic National Committee REFUSED to hand over to the hard charging (except in the case of Democrats) FBI? They broke into homes & offices early in the morning, but were afraid to take the Server?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018
This one has only a 36% likelihood of being drafted by him:
Tomorrow, the House will vote on a strong Farm Bill, which includes work requirements. We must support our Nation’s great farmers!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 17, 2018
And this one, only a paltry 17% chance of being directly written by Trump:
Looking forward to greeting the Hostages (no longer) at 2:00 A.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 9, 2018
Tweets that include photographs or videos or hashtags are likely composed by staff, likely because they require an ounce of thought.
So remember, ways to ensure you’re getting the AUTHENTIC Donald Trump!! when you read his twitter feed? If it sounds too good to be true (meaning makes sense, not fragmented and does not contain ridiculous punctuation as well as glaring grammatical errors), it probably is too good to be Trump.
But we all knew that, didn’t we? Bot not required for the obvious.