Prolific tweeter and President-elect Donald Trump used Twitter to great effect in the months and even years prior to his election last week, connecting directly with his army of followers and supporters that now number in excess of 15 million.
During the most divisive presidential election campaign of modern times, Trump pumped out plenty of tweets about “Crooked Hillary,” building a wall along the southern border, and “draining the swamp” of big government – provocative messages that angered as many people as they pleased.
But now that he’s been given the keys to the White House, The Donald claims he’s going to be a lot more careful using Twitter from hereon in.
“I’m going to be very restrained, if I use it at all, I’m going to be very restrained,” Trump told CBS’ 60 Minutes in an interview recorded on Friday and broadcast Sunday.
Discussing the social media services that he believes helped to secure last week’s surprise election victory, the president-elect told interviewer Lesley Stahl, “It’s where it’s at … I do believe this, I really believe that the fact that I have such power in terms of numbers with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram … I think it helped me win all of these races where they’re spending much more money than I spent.”
Trump said he believes as many as 28 million people currently follow him on social media sites, calling it “a great form of communication.”
“It does get the word out,” he told Stahl. “When you give me a bad story or when you give me an inaccurate story … I have a method of fighting back.”
And while he has indeed been tweeting mostly positive and inclusive messages since his win last Tuesday, Trump couldn’t help but slip back into a more combative mode within 48 hours of his CBS interview, hitting Twitter to take several digs at the New York Times, a publication he considers to have been hostile toward himself and his team. The Times, for its part, insists it “reported on both candidates fairly.”
So let’s wait and see if Trump really can be “very restrained” on Twitter in the coming weeks and months, or if he simply can’t resist hitting the tweet button every time he feels an urge to express whatever thought has just formed inside his head.