Earlier this week, Politico reported that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly wanted to preapprove all news read by the president, which could turn out to be an insurmountable task. It would be easy enough to crack down on Trump’s morning news packet delivered by a staff member, but Twitter is another matter altogether. Trump is an avid retweeter, and while scrolling, he absorbs headlines, blurbs, and full stories from the Drudge Report, Fox News, Sputnik, and InfoWars. The latter outlet is the one of concern here, for its current most popular story pushes a conspiracy theory about Michelle Obama secretly being a man.
This is exactly the type of story that Kelly wants to keep away from Trump’s eyes. While it feels bizarre that a commander-in-chief would need to be shielded — or possibly lacks judgment to evaluate — such stories, that’s sadly the case with Trump. Only last week, he repeated a false, anti-Muslim meme while reacting (on Twitter) to the Barcelona terror attacks. And of course, InfoWars pushed the insane (also false) Pizzagate conspiracy about Hillary Clinton running a child sex ring, which Jones later apologized (due to legal reasons) for spreading.
Of course Kelly wants to shut down Trump’s access to InfoWars. Jones has lashed out after many sites, apparently including YouTube, removed the video that accompanied his Michelle Obama conspiracy. In fact, he’s already posted another YouTube video to complain about “censorship.” So, the story’s still very much out there for the Trump taking, but this is really only the latest example of InfoWars content that a POTUS should never retweet. Buzzfeed News also digs into the Kelly dilemma, and a source told the outlet that Trump’s own family members also hand unsavory stories to him:
“Don Jr. is a huge problem,” the source said, saying he passes questionable articles to the president. “He needs to be a galaxy away from that place.”
Not only that, but notorious troll Chuck Johnson told Buzzfeed that First Lady Melania eats this stuff up as well and shares with Trump. For real?
“Melania Trump hands President Trump articles,” he said. “Is John Kelly going to get between the president and his queen? Good luck, pal.”
Kelly certainly has his work cut out for him. In the meantime, floods of people are coming to Michelle Obama’s defense, including Chelsea Clinton, who has tweeted support for the former first lady: “.@MichelleObama is everything this site will never be-honorable, brave, beloved, beautiful. Don’t need to watch an awful video to know that.”