Although one president was inaugurated last week, there are two of them on Twitter. The first is professional, subdued, and grateful. The second, however, is brash, outspoken, and childish.
Both of these personas belong to the President of the United States, Donald Trump. But not both of these personas are the real Donald Trump. @ is managed by the White House Director of Social Media, while @ is managed by Trump himself. The bio for @POTUS reads “Tweets by @. Tweets by #POTUS signed -DJT.”
Now, Trump isn’t in charge of @POTUS because he’s unpredictable. Barack Obama also had his Director of Social Media run @POTUS when he was in office. The president is simply too busy to tweet…right?
Will the Real Donald Trump Please Stand Up?
That being said, it looks like Trump isn’t even allowed to post the most innocent of tweets. Only one tweet from @POTUS has been signed -DJT. It’s not even the one that reads “On behalf of my entire family, THANK YOU!”
This is where things get concerning. It looks like Trump cannot be trusted to post his own sincere thoughts. If he can’t be trusted online, the people will think he can’t be trusted offline. If he wants to prove his opposers wrong, this is not the way to start.
The other problem is the sudden inconsistency in tone on his personal account. In the days following the inauguration, Trump posted one of his typical tweets with no support or evidence.
Yet, that same day, he posted this:
Peaceful protests are a hallmark of our democracy. Even if I don't always agree, I recognize the rights of people to express their views.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2017
A rather uncharacteristic tweet, no? There’s no way of knowing if this came from Trump himself, if he was instructed to post this, or if it was posted by someone else entirely.
To make things even more suspicious, an identical tweet was posted from both @POTUS and @early this morning.
Busy week planned with a heavy focus on jobs and national security. Top executives coming in at 9:00 A.M. to talk manufacturing in America.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 23, 2017
Busy week planned with a heavy focus on jobs & national security. Top executives coming in at 9 A.M. to talk manufacturing in America. -DJT
— President Trump (@POTUS) January 23, 2017
The version of this tweet from his personal page was posted 22 minutes before it appeared on the official page, signed by Trump. Did it come from Trump himself, or was this the work of a staff member?
Is this a new Donald Trump, or will we see him fall back into his pre-inauguration habits? It’s hard to tell right now, but if we see the old Trump resurface within the next couple of days, it will be even harder to put any trust in him and his staff.
The bottom line is that if you want to uphold a reputation, or build a new on the grounds of a tarnished one, you have to develop a consistent and trustworthy voice on social media. Trump needs to abandon his personal account for the duration of his term, and his staff has to put some trust in him if we are to do the same.