The Morning Tweet: Interpreting Donald Trump so you don’t have to


Sometimes—more like every time—when Donald Trump is given a chance to speak at length, his words eventually disintegrate into a disjointed stew that networks interpret as kind of laughably odd, but certainly not the ravings of a madman! Not at all. Right, Tim Apple? Then everyone goes on as if the nation’s little side trip down the maw of Yog-Sothoth never happened.

And how long can Trump talk before it takes a national effort to produce a collective Rosetta stone to interpret his sayings? No one knows for sure, but … it’s somewhere less than 280 characters, because the madness of the morning tweets can set the tone for the whole day. The gibbering, slobbering, rats-in-the-walls tone. Like today, when Trump practiced the fine art of Fox & Friends transcription, then appended some of his own … must we call them thoughts?

Trump started off the morning with a cry of MAGA, followed by a second tweet in all caps: “KEEP AMERICA GREAT.” Translation: KAG hats will be available at the Trump store by 9 AM, showcasing Trump’s 2020 campaign slogan. Because you can’t have people wearing old hats to a new campaign.

Then Trump took time out to explain how angry he was about California Gov. Gavin Newsom suspending the death penalty in the state. Trump says he is “not thrilled!” about the fact that fewer Americas are going to die. Translation: Watching people die is Trump’s jam. He’s been looking for ways to expand the death penalty since way before he took office, regularly talks it up to the press, and if you think he hasn’t spent at least one Cabinet meeting pitching the DOJ on a Running Man-style reality show in which marijuana users and non-Trump-praising journalists are taken out by chainsaw, you’re not paying attention. Trump may just announce that he’s bringing every California inmate to Fifth Avenue for a personal shooting. Stay tuned.

And then there’s Jay Leno. At 6:35 AM ET, Fox & Friends ran a segment in which it was mentioned that Jay Leno found late night humor one-sided—because Jay Leno is warmly remembered as that guy who killed time after Carson left and everyone tried to figure out what to do next. At 7:15 AM, Trump produced a tweet repeating Leno’s words, showing that either someone at the White House has Fox & Friends on a 20-minute delay out of not unwarranted concerns that Doocy might suddenly shout, “The button! Hit the red button!” or Trump has a typing speed of 20 WPH. Which is also believable.  But Trump didn’t leave off at just repeating the Leno quote. He added his own comment: “Actually, the one-sided hatred on these shows is incredible and for me, unwatchable. But remember, WE are number one – President!”

From this, we learn that Trump doesn’t like people to say bad things about Trump. Which we knew. And Trump talks about himself using a royal We. Which we knew. And Trump … “are number one — President!” Here’s where the translation effort kicks in. Can Trump be plural and still “number one?” Don’t think about it too hard. Clearly, he hasn’t. And what does the rest of this mean anyway?

Best effort at English: “Screw them, I won.”

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