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Trump aides use special tactics to keep him off Twitter, report says

Commentary: Campaign officials who talked to Politico suggest that the president must not be left alone for too long. They also take advantage of the fact that he still prefers print to online.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


The president's aides would reportedly like to curb his Twittering.

Pool, Getty Images

If I was president, I'd want to tweet too.

Sample: "Met with Putin today. You wouldn't believe how short he is."

It's hard, then, to criticize Donald Trump for embracing Twitter as light relief from his duties. Especially as it seems to do so much heavy lifting for him.

His tweets are immediately breaking news. His aides, however, appear to wish that they could lift him away from social media.

A Politico report based on conversations with six former campaign officials -- almost all unnamed -- suggests that staff members use various strategies to keep the president from tweeting.

The first essential is reportedly "to ensure that his personal media consumption includes a steady stream of praise." This is entirely understandable. I'd like that too, wouldn't you? Praise lifts the spirits, soothes the mind and relaxes the fingers from potentially expressing a little too much hurt too vehemently.

The aides' task is made easier because the president still reportedly prefers print to online, which gives them time to filter. Again, I have sympathy for the president. Print feels concrete. On the web, stories appear and disappear like truth from news.

A more tricky area, though, is the constant din of cable news. The president himself admitted last week that he's instantly moved by things he sees on cable -- for example, the (nonexistent) terrorist incident in Sweden.

Naturally, as any good aides would do, Trump's reportedly ensure that positive news items are placed with sympathetic, real-news outlets such as Breitbart or the Washington Examiner.

The White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

A danger though, according to the report, is to allow the president to spend too much time alone. "Leaving him alone for several hours can prove damaging, because he consumes too much television and gripes to people outside the White House," the report says. I suffer similarly. If I'm alone for four or five hours, I suddenly get the urge to look at Twitter and even offer some attempted witticism, in the hope that someone, anyone might like it.

Perhaps the aides should work a little harder at encouraging the president to tweet at certain times in certain ways, rather than use these alleged psychological tactics to deter him.

If the president could offer some tweeted witticisms and secret observations to the masses, it might round out his currently strident image a little.

Sample: "Honestly, if I have to put up with trying to pronounce the president of Turkmenistan's name one more time, I swear I'll scream."

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