President Obama mocked Donald Trump on Sunday after a new report indicated that the Republican nominee’s aides had barred him from firing off his own Twitter posts.
“I can’t confirm it’s true. But apparently his campaign has taken away his Twitter. In the last two days, they had so little confidence in his self-control, they said, ‘We’re just going to take away his Twitter,’” Obama said while campaigning for Hillary Clinton in Kissimmee, Fla.
Obama continued: “Now, if somebody can’t handle a Twitter account, they can’t handle the nuclear codes. If somebody starts tweeting at 3 in the morning because ‘SNL’ made fun of you, then you can’t handle the nuclear codes.”
Earlier in the day, the New York Times reported that Trump’s campaign staff had “wrested away” his freewheeling Twitter account, which the celebrity businessman frequently uses to release caustic barbs against his political foes.
Trump’s Twitter barrages have sometimes yielded backlash, such as when the world awoke to find a string of attack tweets aimed at former Miss Universe Alicia Machado, tapped out in the wee hours of a morning in September.
As Obama alluded, Trump also went after “Saturday Night Live” in October after actor Alec Baldwin portrayed him in an unflattering sketch. “Watched Saturday Night Live hit job on me,” Trump tweeted at the time. “Time to retire the boring and unfunny show. Alec Baldwin portrayal stinks. Media rigging election!”
The detail about Trump’s Twitter account was part of a broader story about his advisers’ efforts to rein in their candidate in the closing days of the campaign. Among other things, the Trump team has also pushed him to be more on script at his rallies, where he’s been generally sticking to his teleprompter.
But even if the report about his Twitter account is true, that doesn’t mean Trump has lost the ability to target enemies before his millions of online followers. In the Times story, Trump dictated a tweet to Hope Hicks, his spokeswoman.
“Why is he campaigning instead of creating jobs and fixing Obamacare?” Trump reportedly directed Hicks to tweet. “Get back to work.”
She then published it with some “light editing”:
Looking at Air Force One @ MIA. Why is he campaigning instead of creating jobs & fixing Obamacare? Get back to work for the American people!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 3, 2016