Yesterday, President Trump sent a tweet simply saying that he was going to appear on the TV show Fox & Friends. But the tweet has since been deleted. And it’s not clear why.
Yes, President Trump has deleted a lot of tweets since he became president. Since taking office on January 20th, he’s deleted 22 to be exact. And it’s something he’s now even being sued over, since his tweets are considered presidential records. But typically there’s a self-evident reason why Trump might delete a tweet.
As you can see from the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, Trump was performing his presidential duties yesterday by acting as a TV Guide (I think that’s in the Constitution, but don’t quote me) proclaiming, “I am on @foxandfriends - Enjoy!”
The tweet was up for 9 hours before it was deleted. But why would the president delete a tweet about his favorite show in the world that just so happened to be covering his favorite topic in the world? Frankly, I’m stumped.
Sometimes the president deletes a tweet because he’s made a spelling error, like when he spelled Karen Handel’s name as “Handle” recently. Or he’ll delete a tweet when the TV box tells him to stop tweeting, like on June 19th when he promoted an appearance by his lawyer on Fox & Friends. The host, Brian Kilmeade, said that the president should stop tweeting so much. The president was clearly watching, because he immediately deleted the tweet.
And then there’s the infamous Covfefe tweet. It was obviously a typo of some kind, but we’re still not sure. Or, at least, the White House isn’t sure. Sean Spicer stood up in front of the country and literally said that the covfefe tweet was intentional.
The lawsuit over Trump’s deleted tweets also covers the White House’s use of encrypted messaging apps. And while most of the deleted tweets aren’t especially important, there are some that seem like they should be preserved.
The lawsuit, brought by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and the National Security Archive, cites a February 20, 2017 tweet that was deleted after just 59 minutes as just one example of something that future historians might want to take a look at: “Meeting with Generals at Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Very interesting!”
Very interesting, indeed. But why delete it?
And we’re still left to guess why the president may have deleted his tweet from yesterday. Did Trump finally get around to watching CNN’s Reliable Sources? Because it was pretty scathing. CNN host Brian Stelter called out Fox & Friends for being a “daily infomercial” for the Trump presidency.
Maybe Trump had a moment of embarrassment about the fact that the only show on TV that goes to bat for him is shamefully transparent in its agenda?
I suppose that would require Trump to exhibit a modicum of that human emotion called shame. So I guess that theory won’t stick. Any others? Because I’m really at a loss on this one.
You can read all of the president’s deleted tweets, including those that were deleted before he became president, over at ProPublica. But good luck to you if you can figure out a pattern for the more innocuous ones like yesterday’s.