If Donald Trump wants to complain about “fake news,” he should start with the members of his campaign staff who found it to be a very useful tool in their efforts to babysit the candidate.
The key to keeping Trump’s Twitter habit under control, according to six former campaign officials, is to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise. And when no such praise was to be found, staff would turn to friendly outlets to drum some up — and make sure it made its way to Trump’s desk.
In other words, his staffers would plant friendly puff pieces in publications that were sympathetic to the cause and show those stories to the little baby man so that maybe, just maybe, he’d forget whatever bombshell development the real media was onto at the moment. Or, as Jonathan Katz puts it:
Or to put it another way: Trump is not only the president of the Fake News club, he is also its most gullible member. pic.twitter.com/D1SEOr3k8a
— Jonathan M. Katz 🐱 (@KatzOnEarth) February 22, 2017
POLITICO points to a one case in which Trump was outraged about the media’s coverage of his comments about former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, who Trump called “Miss Piggy,” among other things. His staff hustled to line up some fawning coverage from the racist, nationalist outfits that adored Trump, and then…
And once they got the stories published, campaign officials with large numbers of Twitter followers would tweet them out.
They would also go to media amplifiers like Fox News hosts and conservative columnists to encourage them to tweet out the story so that they could print out and show a two-page list of tweets that show that they were steering the message. While Trump still couldn’t contain his Twitter-rage with Machado, and ended up tweeting about a mystery sex-tape of the Hillary Clinton surrogate, aides say they dialed back even more posts.
The confirmation that Trump is a gullible child has been almost too much for Twitter users to bear:
— McSpocky™ 👽🖖 (@mcspocky) February 22, 2017
— Hyperationalist (@hyperationalist) February 22, 2017
(Featured image via Getty Images/Drew Angerer)