One of Twitter’s founders apologized for the role his social media platform may have had in putting America’s Tweeter-in-Chief in the White House.
“It’s a very bad thing, Twitter’s role in that. If it’s true he wouldn’t be president if it weren’t for Twitter, than yeah, I’m sorry,” Twitter co-founder Evan Williams told the New York Times.
He was responding directly to the President’s claim that the site powered him throughthe 2016 election and into the country’s top office. Williams said he’d only recently learned of the Republicans comments on his political success and the social media platform.
“I think that maybe I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for Twitter, because I get such a fake press, such a dishonest press,” President Trump told Fox News in March.
Trump leaned on Twitter throughout his entire campaign, mocking his fellow Republican candidates with 140 characters or less and demeaning nicknames before shifting focus to his Democratic rival, who he dubbed “Crooked Hillary” during his bid for the presidency. And he’s continued the habit through his first several months in office.
Since Trump’s inaguration on January 20th, he’s sent out nearly 600 tweets from his @RealDonaldTrump account, which boasts a hefty 30 million followers. His official @POTUS handle has another 17.7 million.
He’s among the top 50 most followed people on the social media site, with Katy Perry, Justin Bieber and President Obama taking the top three spots.
The President’s Twitter use has long been a source of controversy and criticism. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week, some of Trump’s top aides staged a Twitter intervention, pointing to both political and legal consequences in an attempt to soothe their boss’ itchy fingers.
They specifically pointed to his online claims that Obama wiretapped his phones during the 2016 election. The bizarre tweet was debunked by now-former FBI Director James Comey, who was fired on May 9.
Following Comey’s dismissal, Trump unleashed another string of tweets in which he appears to imply he is recording conversations in the Oval Office.
And earlier this week he denounced the appointment of special counsel to investigate his campaign ties with Russia, calling it “the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history.”