CNN Panel Argues Trump Shouldn’t Expect People to Read ‘Every Word’ of a Tweet


CNN's Chris Cillizza and Chris Cuomo came to an agreement Friday that President Donald Trump should not expect people to read to the end of a tweet.

The panel contended with Richard Grenell, the longest serving U.S. spokesperson to the U.N., who spoke earlier in the segment about sanctions and other diplomatic measures regarding North Korea. Grenell also took issue with others' contention that Trump's rhetoric is extreme.

"Political types are going to keep trying to message ‘locked and loaded' but they are missing the rest of the sentence," he said. "I think it's really disingenuous and shameful to not continue the rest of the sentence."

"He's talking about playing defense, he's saying ‘if they should act,'" Grenell added.

Grenell pointed out that former President Barack Obama used the language of "destroying" North Korea if it attacked us. He criticized Washington's status quo that has led to "freaking out" about Trump's words, and challenged Cillizza on his argument that "locked and loaded" is the main takeaway from Trump's tweet.

"I want you to stop saying ‘locked and loaded' without finishing the rest of it because you are being very political with a serious policy," Grenell told Cillizza.

"I guess I disagree," Cillizza replied. "But I do think you have to look at the fact that not every person is going to read every word of that, particularly given what Donald Trump has said, fire and fury and that sort of thing."

Cillizza added that his understanding of "rhetoric and words" tells him people can't be expected to read entire tweets.

"To assume everyone around the world is going to read that entire thing—it doesn't have to do with me—I think misunderstands the way in which rhetoric and words matter," he said.

Grenell replied, "What I hear you saying is that people are only reading half a tweet, and I find that to be crazy. I find that to be what politics and political people in Washington D.C. try to do when they are partisan."

CNN's Brooke Baldwin interjected to argue Trump did not intend for people to read his entire 23-word tweet.

"Isn't that the part of the tweet that Donald Trump wants people to read?" she asked. "I mean he's not putting that there to say, ‘look at the back half of the tweet.'"

Grenell again brought up Obama's historical precedent for warning North Korea against nuclear attacks, which Cuomo dismissed as irrelevant.

"The idea of bringing up what a past president said when you are dealing with an imminent and breaking situation is silly," Cuomo said. "We both know that President Trump uses inflammatory language on purpose, he sees it as a show of strength, so to say that every part of the tweet must be weighed equally is naive at best and misleading at worst."

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is a media analyst with the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at

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