Sebastian Gorka, Trump’s deputy assistant, engaged in a heated exchange with CNN’s Chris Cuomo on Monday, denying that the president’s tweets about the London Bridge terror attack and his executive order on immigration amount to policy.
“His tweets are the policy,” Cuomo argued. “They are statements from the president of the United States about what he wants. ... It’s his words, his thoughts.”
“It’s not policy,” Gorka said. “It’s not an executive order. It’s social media.”
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also attempted to devalue Trump’s tweets on Monday by claiming the media has “an obsession” with covering his posts.
“Well, but that’s his preferred method of communication with the American people,” said Craig Melvin, a “Today” show anchor. “He hasn’t given an interview in three weeks.”
Sarah Huckabee Sanders, principal deputy White House press secretary, echoed her colleagues’ sentiments hours later, perpetuating the claim that the press has an “obsession” with Trump’s tweets.
“I think [Trump’s tweets] matter in the sense that it gives him a communications tool that isn’t filtered through media bias,” Sanders said during a press briefing. “But at the same time, I think that the media obsesses over every period [and] dot.”
Although some members of Trump’s team attempt to brush off his tweets as chatter, White House press secretary Sean Spicer often avoids trying to explain them at all, telling reporters the posts speak for themselves.
He has at times attempted to explain some of Trump’s more bizarre posts, including a recent one that included the nonsense word “covfefe.” Spicer once blamed the media for the president saying in a tweet that his executive order barring immigration and travel from majority-Muslim countries was a “ban.”
Coder and activist Russel Neis created a Twitter account called RealPressSecBot, which gained popularity over the weekend by making Trump’s tweets look like official White House statements, emphasizing that the president’s words should be taken seriously ― no matter how they reach the public.
This article has been updated with comment from Sanders.