President Trump Tells Americans to Boycott AT&T During Unhinged Twitter Rant

Part time president and full time television viewer Donald Trump on June 2, 2019
Photo: Getty Images

President Donald Trump sent a barrage of strange tweets during his flight to the UK overnight, but one of the weirdest tweets instructed Americans to stop using and subscribing to AT&T’s services. CNN, which the president hates because the network will sometimes accurately describe his crimes, is owned by AT&T.

“I believe that if people stoped [sic] using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway,” Trump tweeted at 6:50 a.m. ET/ 11:50 a.m. London time, shortly after landing.

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“It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News!” the president continued. “Why wouldn’t they act. When the World watches @CNN, it gets a false picture of USA. Sad!”

In case you needed a reminder, this is a very weird thing for a president to be doing. U.S. presidents generally refrain from openly calling for American businesses to lose customers. But this is far from the first time that the president has openly rooted for an American company to struggle, especially CNN.

President Trump very openly tried to intervene to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger for political reasons. And whatever you think of the merger, it’s undoubtedly an abuse of power for the president to interfere with a business because he doesn’t like the journalism that they produce.

The president’s tweet was actually a follow up to a tweet that the president sent 13 minutes earlier, complaining that CNN was the only American news channel he could find in London.

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“Just arrived in the United Kingdom. The only problem is that @CNN is the primary source of news available from the U.S. After watching it for a short while, I turned it off. All negative & so much Fake News, very bad for U.S. Big ratings drop. Why doesn’t owner @ATT do something?” the president tweeted.

President Trump spends large parts of his day watching TV and reacting to the things that he sees. In fact, it’s the defining feature of his presidency, despite the fact that he claims to watch very little TV.

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But those weren’t even the only unhinged tweets that the president sent this morning. He also attacked London Mayor Sadiq Kahn for daring to criticize the Trump regime and the “red carpet” that has been rolled out for Trump and his cronies in the UK.

“.@SadiqKhan, who by all accounts has done a terrible job as Mayor of London, has been foolishly ‘nasty’ to the visiting President of the United States, by far the most important ally of the United Kingdom. He is a stone cold loser who should focus on crime in London, not me......” President Trump tweeted.

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That invocation of the word “nasty” couldn’t be an accident, since Trump recently used the same word to describe Meghan Markle, an American who is now British royalty. Trump, aided by his propaganda arm Fox News, denied that he called Markle nasty, despite there being video evidence proving he said just that.

President Trump even “liked” a tweet that highlighted the president’s lies while on his flight to London overnight. And the weird part is that it may not have been an accident. The tweet in question is a famous quote from George Orwell’s classic dystopian novel 1984:

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CNN media reporter Brian Stelter captured a screenshot of the “like” overnight.

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The president deleted his “like” not long after.

I’d say that it’s going to be another one of those days online, but it’s always one of those days in the Trump era. Much like concentration camps for asylum seekers and children dying in U.S. custody, this is the new normal.

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About the author

Matt Novak

Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog