If you had asked me just a few short years ago whether I thought one day the President of the United States would be unable to refrain from violating ethical and possibly Constitutional laws via social media, I might have seemed completely rude as I literally laughed in your face.
Maybe that’s not entirely Donald Trump’s fault. It’s not like I couldn’t imagine a world leader using social media — President Obama sometimes used it to great effect, and you’d have to have been a fool to not foresee the coming age of memes and the marriage of news and believability. We like to think that “fake news” is a thing that happened with the advent of “alternative facts,” but let’s face it: Your stupid racist Republican uncle was forwarding you emails about green monkey kidney cells being used in vaccines to purposely give kids autism and simultaneously turn them gay since at least like 2003. And who did HE get them from? Pat Robertson, or Pat Buchanan, or probably some jackass named Pat, anyway.
Where was I? Oh yeah: Donald Trump keeps doing progressively stupider things and broadcasting them to his more than 43 million followers on Twitter.
Case in point: the anti-CNN tweet he sent out on Saturday:
.@FoxNews is MUCH more important in the United States than CNN, but outside of the U.S., CNN International is still a major source of (Fake) news, and they represent our Nation to the WORLD very poorly. The outside world does not see the truth from them!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 25, 2017
Now, that may look at first glance like a standard Trump tweet, decrying the “fake news” and promoting the one network that (mostly, except when they’re forced to report approval ratings without looking like idiots) still supports him.
But according to Norm Eisen, the man that served as President Obama’s chief ethics lawyer, it wasn’t just stupid — it was also possibly proof of illegal activities.
Dear Dodo-in-Chief: u realize that this tweet is going 2be an exhibit against u in the DOJ -TimeWarner antitrust case right? It also smacks of collusion since u did it on day when Vlad cracked down on US networks. For that reason, it may open u to other civil liability. G’night! https://t.co/acyCYYSYeK
— Norm Eisen (@NormEisen) November 26, 2017
The Justice Department is currently suing to prevent AT&T from taking over Time Warner, the parent company of CNN, because they allege that the mega-corporation would be in violation of antitrust laws.
The “crackdown” that Eisen refers to here is the fact that Vladimir Putin, the Russian president and apparently a pretty good pal of Donald Trump, issued an order almost simultaneously that now requires foreign news agencies — like CNN International — to register in Russia as “foreign agents,” a designation that indicates they are motivated by an agenda, rather than simply reporting the news.
I’d almost call it amazing that Trump and Putin would both address a news outlet that they each often consider unfavorable toward their interests on the same day, but really, what’s amazing anymore? I mean, with Trump promoting a website almost immediately after that’s literally all of those emails your stupid racist Republican uncle sent you all rolled into one, I have no idea where we go from here.
I say let Loose Lips Trump keep tweeting, no matter how much we wish he’d shut up. He’s certainly not doing himself any favors.
Featured image via Mark Wilson/Getty Images