According to Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large, not only is there “no difference” between President Donald Trump’s Twitter feed and official policy statements and executive orders, but Trump’s tweets are actually more important than official White House statements. No, this is not satire. An editor at CNN actually made this argument earlier today.
I’ve written before about CNN’s obsession over President Trump’s Twitter feed, but this takes it to a whole new level. I thought the cable TV network was just being lazy by constantly making news out of the president’s social media posts. Now I’m starting to believe they’ve actually lost their minds at the CNN Center in Atlanta. To quote the article:
On “New Day” Trump adviser Sebastian Gorka echoed that sentiment, insisting to host Chris Cuomo that “it’s social media, Chris, it’s social media. You know the difference, right?,” adding: “It’s not policy, it’s not an executive order. It’s social media. Please understand the difference.”
Here’s the thing: There is no difference. And, in fact, Trump’s tweets are actually more important than the more formal statements coming out of his White House because they represent something much closer to what he believes on nearly every issue.
Except there is a difference. One has the force of law, or at least creates policies and rules for federal employees to follow, the other does not.
TIME actually called out President Trump today for signing documents that had no official weight. In a press conference at the Oval Office, the president signed a “a decision memo and letter transmitting legislative principles to Congress” regarding privatization of the Air Traffic Control system. Like a tweet, neither document actually does anything.
But to illustrate their point, CNN actually references a Twitter account that creates counterfeit White House press statements using Trump’s Twitter feed. Thousands of people have already re-Tweeted those documents, and from browsing the comments, it looks like a fair number think they are officially coming from the White House.
If I were president, I wouldn’t use Twitter or any social media. I think it’s a terrible way to communicate with the public, especially for an elected official. But the U.S. president is not a king whose word automatically becomes law. Let’s get real. Tweets and social media posts are not meant to be official proclamations, and should not be taken as such by a legitimate news organization.