One of President Donald Trump's biographers dismissed the president's threats against the social platform he loves.
The president signed an executive order Thursday weakening liability protections for Twitter and other social media platforms, and even threatened to shut down the microblogging site -- but Bloomberg's Tim O'Brien doesn't take those threats seriously.
"Trump won’t undermine Twitter because he’s addicted to it," O'Brien wrote. "He revels in mainlining his thoughts into the American conversation and absorbing all the responses back into his own bloodstream. Twitter is Trump’s drug of choice, and addicts don’t break their habits so easily."
The sudden crackdown on Twitter came after the platform began adding fact checking to some of the president's tweets, after he repeatedly accused MSNBC's Joe Scarborough of murdering a former staffer and sharing misinformation about voting and the coronavirus.
"None of this is really about free speech or proper regulation of social media, however," O'Brien wrote. "It’s about the president’s abuse of his power and his fixation on the politics informing the coming election. Also, his feelings are hurt. He’s acting out. Twitter is one of Trump’s favorite toys, and although he’s momentarily bashing it in frustration, he probably won’t go so far as to break it."
Twitter allows the president to sidestep the traditional media and speak directly to his fans, a talent he's spent a lifetime honing in public.
“I have one asset that I think nobody else has," Trump once told O'Brien, according to his former biographer, "and that’s that if somebody writes about me badly, I sort of own my own newspaper in a way -- like I went after you on the ‘Today’ show. I do have the ability to fight back in the media. I can say that, ‘You, Tim, is not smart, is a terrible guy.’”
“A total whack job,” O'Brien suggested, as Trump drove on a rainy New Jersey highway.
“I can say that, nobody else can,” Trump agreed. “In other words, I’m the only guy who can fight back on an almost even plane. I mean, I’m not saying it’s an even plane because you may have an advantage. But I have an advantage, too, because I’m on television every day.”
“People don’t want to read about a negative Trump," he added. "I really believe that.”