On Tuesday, President Donald Trump tweeted a seemingly random threat against the city of Chicago, saying he’d “send in the Feds” if they didn’t remedy the ongoing “carnage” plaguing its residents. An interview published by the New York Times the next day all but confirmed the tweet’s connection to a segment on The O’Reilly Factor, which aired just before Trump’s tweet, but the new president’s penchant for live-tweeting responses to various cable news shows is nothing new. It’s just weird now that he is the 45th President of the United States.
Consider Trump’s response to a recent Fox & Friends report by co-anchor Abby Huntsman about President Barack Obama’s commutation of Chelsea Manning, the former United States Army analyst who leaked diplomatic cables and other sensitive information to WikiLeaks. The segment, which detailed a new op-ed by Manning in The Guardian, labeled the soon-to-be-released prisoner an “ungrateful traitor” for her harsh criticisms of the former president:
“Chelsea Manning sounding less than grateful to President Obama for cutting nearly twenty-five years off of her sentence for leaking unclassified information. In a new article for The Guardian, the disgraced former Army private is slamming President Obama as a weak leader with few permanent accomplishments.”
A whopping 14 minutes after Huntsman’s report aired, Trump chimed in on Twitter with a tweet that practically copied-and-pasted pertinent words and phrases. “Ungrateful TRAITOR Chelsea Manning, who should never have been released from prison, is now calling President Obama a weak leader,” he said, adding: “Terrible!”
On Twitter, CNN’s Brian Stelter noted Trump’s tellingly repetitious ways.
Interestingly enough, Mediate notes Manning’s op-ed is less a condemnation of Obama as a “weak leader” lacking accomplishments and more akin to “criticism of Republican leadership being unwilling to meet Obama halfway.” Sure enough, Manning does recall pertinent moments from Obama’s presidency from her viewpoint as a young Army analyst, then as a prisoner awaiting court martial, but offers her harshest words for Obama’s “opponents”:
For eight years, it did not matter how balanced President Obama was. It did not matter how educated he was, or how intelligent he was. Nothing was ever good enough for his opponents. It was clear that he could not win. It was clear that, no matter what he did, in their eyes, he could not win.
Manning then accompanied a link to the column with a tweet calling for a “strong #unapologeticprogressive to lead” the country. In other words, a president who wasn’t the figure Trump and his cheerleaders at Fox News have made the new president out to be.