“Do you ever tweet out and be like, you wake up, and, ‘Aw man, I wish I didn’t send that one out’?” Portnoy asked.
“Often, too often,” was Trump’s somewhat surprising answer.
“It used to be in the old days before this, you’d write a letter and you’d say this letter is very big — you put it on your desk and then you go back tomorrow and you say, ‘Oh, I’m glad I didn’t send it,’ right?” the president continued. “But we don’t do that with Twitter, right? We put it out instantaneously, we feel great, and then you start getting phone calls: ‘Did you really say this?’ I say, ‘What’s wrong with that?’ and you find out a lot of things.”
While it’s not news, at all, that Trump impulsively uses personal letters or Twitter to make himself feel better, it is news that he ever apparently learns anything as a result (though it’s hardly clear what those lessons have been).
The Twitter-usage exchange came during a softball-laden Q&A with Portnoy (his preceding question was about the president’s approach to handshakes with foreign leaders), but it was as close to Trump admitting a mistake as you are ever likely to hear — though there was also some blame-shifting involved, per usual.
“It’s not the tweets,” Trump added. “It’s the retweets that get you in trouble.”
“You see something that looks good, and you don’t investigate it and you don’t know what’s on the helmet exactly, right, which is a miniature and you don’t blow it up, it sometimes — I have found that almost always it’s the retweets that get you in trouble,” Trump concluded.
Among the recent tweets that the president thought looked good enough to retweet without further investigation include a video of a supporter yelling “White Power!”, a diatribe which referred to Hillary Clinton as a “skank,” and former Love Connection host Chuck Woolery’s claim that the CDC was lying about the coronavirus to hurt the president’s reelection bid.