Remember how President-elect Donald Trump told 60 Minutes shortly after winning the election that he was planning to be “restrained” on how he uses Twitter? It seems he is now reconsidering and is “absolutely” planning to continue to use Twitter as a communication tool and to make major policy announcements, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer said on ABC’s This Week.
“When he tweets, he gets results,” Spicer said. “So whether it’s Twitter, holding a news conference, picking up the phone, having a meeting, he is going to make sure that he continues to fight for the American people every single day.”
Spicer said the president-elect’s use of Twitter is just another example of how Trump is going to be a different kind of president. “There’s a new sheriff in town,” Spicer said. “Absolutely you’re going to see Twitter.”
When ABC’s Jonathan Karl asked him whether a Trump White House would involve “major policy done via Twitter,” Spicer said the question reflects how mainstream journalists are concerned that Trump has a way to speak to the public without intermediaries. “You know, with all due respect, I think it freaks the mainstream media out that he has this following of over 45-plus million people that follow him on social media, that he can have a direct conversation. He doesn’t have to have it funneled through the media,” Spicer said.
The incoming press secretary’s words appear to mark a shift from the November 60 Minutes interview when Trump said he would be “very restrained, if I use it at all.” Still, in that same interview he also spoke about how Twitter is useful to push back on negative stories. Since then though, Trump has not exactly been “restrained” on his Twitter use, taking to the social network to hint at upending decades of U.S. foreign policy, criticize outgoing President Obama, and praise Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In the ABC interview, Spicer also questioned whether President Obama didn’t go too far with the actions against Russia as retaliation for the election-season cyberattacks. “I think one of the questions that we have is, ‘Why the magnitude of this?’ I mean you look at 35 people being expelled, two sites being closed down, the question is, is that response in proportion to the actions taken?”