Are TV Newsers Shaping White House Policy?

By Chris Ariens Comment

There’s new evidence, though no definitive proof (because only one person knows for sure), that President Trump is using twitter to respond to things he sees on TV news.

As Maggie Haberman reports in the New York Times today, Trump still has plenty of time in his schedule to watch TV news, on which he has a starring role: “[H]is meetings now begin at 9 a.m., earlier than they used to, which significantly curtails his television time. Still, Mr. Trump, who does not read books, is able to end his evenings with plenty of television.”

Here are two new examples in the last 15 hours where watching TV may have inspired tweets that could turn into policy. First, on his show last night Bill O’Reilly reported on the “continuing chaos in Chicago.” Not long after that segment aired, President Trump tweeted:

Then at 7:07 a.m. ET this morning MSNBC legal correspondent Ari Melber, in a fact-checking segment on the Today show, reported, “You have the government representative saying there were three to five million crimes occurred, and the same time, they’re not going to investigate or prosecute them. That’s an inconsistency that is very hard to square.” A few minutes later, Trump tweeted:

The question of why the administration wouldn’t investigate the issue of voter fraud was a big topic at yesterday’s White House press briefing, with questions from ABC News, CNN, NPR, CBS News and two from NBC News. So it’s possible the president was inspired by the briefing and not watching the Today show. But only he knows. And there are more pressing issues in the world.