Donald Trump just sent out a tweet and deleted it. The tweet quoted Julian Assange favorably, and insisted that the Russians didn’t give the DNC’s hacked emails to Wikileaks. Why did the president-elect delete the tweet? Did he suddenly realize that it looks rather un-presidential to contradict your own intelligence agencies so publicly? No, Trump had simply spelled Assange’s name wrong.
The original tweet:
Trump quickly fixed the tweet, changing “Assuage” (which, of course, is a real word that means to satisfy an appetite) to “Assange” (which, of course, is also a real word that means megalomaniacal asshole).
This is starting to become a pattern with President-elect Trump. A few weeks ago, he rather infamously tweeted that China had stolen a US Navy drone, calling it an “unpresidented” act. And while plenty of people poked fun at Trump about the slip up, it shows that there’s absolutely no filter between Trump and the rest of the world.
We all make mistakes. But when you’re the most powerful human on the planet, those mistakes (even minor ones like typos) can have major consequences. Trump’s Twitter has the power to start a war and move markets in whichever direction he pleases.
Just look at what Trump did yesterday after criticizing General Motors. Trump was ranting about a Chevy car that he said was made in Mexico (most are made in Ohio, but that’s a whole other issue) and threatened the company with a “big border tax.” GM’s stock immediately plunged following the tweet.
Which leads me to the central question of this post. Will the tweet that inevitably leads us to a very real and very dangerous diplomatic standoff with a near-peer adversary contain a typo? And will Trump bother to delete it and try it over again? It would be pretty embarrassing if the tweet that starts World War III contained a spelling error or two. And it definitely wouldn’t look good in the post-apocalyptic pile of bricks that they’ll call the Donald J. Trump Presidential Library, Museum, and Fallout Shelter.
Just a thought. Guess we won’t know until it’s too late.
Update, 9:22am: I was just made aware of this tweet from 2013, which kind of illustrates my point, typo or not: