'It's the retweets that get you in trouble': Trump says he often regrets sending tweets

'You see something that looks good and you don't investigate it, and you don’t look at what's on the helmet exactly, which is in miniature, and you don’t blow it up'

Richard Hall
New York
Friday 24 July 2020 20:14 BST
Related video: Trump calls George Floyd protesters 'thugs'
Related video: Trump calls George Floyd protesters 'thugs' (AP)

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Louise Thomas

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Donald Trump said he often regrets some of his tweets and admitted to not always paying much attention to who he retweets to his 84 million followers.

“It’s not the tweets, it’s the retweets that get you in trouble," he said Friday in an interview with Barstool Sports at the White House.

Mr Trump, a prolific user of the social networking site who has often found himself in hot water for retweeting fringe commentators with bigoted views, was responding to a question about whether he ever wished he hadn’t tweeted.

"Too often," he said. "It used to be in the old days, before this, you’d write a letter and you’d say 'this letter’s really bad' and you’d put it on your desk and you’d go back tomorrow, and you’d say 'oh I’m glad I didn't send this.' But we don’t with Twitter right?”

“We put it out instantaneously and we feel great and then you start getting phone calls: 'Did you really say this?' I say 'what’s wrong with that?'”

Mr Trump has been known to tweet more than 100 times in a day. Occasionally he has been known to retweet accounts that are known for spreading conspiracy theories.

He admitted during Friday’s interview to not always looking closely at who is promoting.

“You see something that looks good and you don't investigate it, and you don’t look at what's on the helmet exactly, which is in miniature, and you don’t blow it up,” he said.

The president’s last tweetstorm was back in May, when he tweeted more than 100 times. Much of that output was retweets focused on unsubstantiated claims about the investigation into collusion between his campaign and Russia.

That did not quite reach his record since taking office of 142 — which was set during impeachment proceedings in January.

Mr Trump used Twitter to great effect during the 2016 campaign which saw him win the White House. His unvarnished and un-spellchecked output won him fans on the site and helped him promote his message to his millions of followers.

Since assuming office, he has remained a prolific poster, often landing himself in trouble for promoting conspiracy theories of racist content.

Most recently, the president shared a video showing a supporter yelling “white power” at protesters in a Florida retirement community.

“Thank you to the great people of The Villages,” the president said in a post to his nearly Twitter followers.

The video was removed from his timeline several hours later. In a statement, a White House spokesperson claimed that the president "did not hear the one statement made on the video. What he did see was tremendous enthusiasm from his many supporters."

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