CNN’s Stelter: Trump’s Tweets Are ‘Madness,’ May Violate Twitter Terms of Service Because They Threaten Violence

• January 3, 2018 10:22 am


CNN media reporter Brian Stelter called President Donald Trump's tweets on Tuesday "madness" and said he'd reached out to Twitter to see if they violated the platform's terms of service.

Trump tweeted a taunt at North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that he had a "bigger & more powerful" nuclear button than his, adding "my Button works!" He also tweeted he would be announcing the "most dishonest & corrupt media awards of the year" on Monday from the "Fake News Media."

These, along with more than a dozen other tweets sent out by the president on Tuesday, alarmed Stelter, who called some of them "deeply disturbing."

"Considering how the new year has started, what does this say about the year?" CNN's Anderson Cooper asked.

"Madness," Stelter said. "And I think we should start to call it that, shouldn't we?"

Stelter also used the word in his media newsletter.

"There's a word for this. Madness," he wrote. "This is madness. Fresh off his holiday vacation, President Trump tweeted sixteen times on Tuesday, veering from complaints about the NYT to calls for the jailing of political opponents to threats of nuclear war."

Stelter said on CNN that Trump's mental fitness for office was again under question.

"I think we can apply a test to his 16 tweets today," Stelter said. "The test would be, if this were the leader of Germany or China or Brazil, what would we say, how would we cover these tweets? We would say these are the messages from a person who is not well, from a leader who is not fit for office."

Cooper said the counter-argument could be Trump had a unique style, given his predecessors were more diplomatic in their language with North Korea and had no success.

Stelter argued the president is not using Twitter "to great effect." He said he asked Twitter if Trump's "threat toward North Korea" violated its terms of service and had not yet gotten a response.

"I think they're trying to decide if this kind of tweet … whether that actually is a violation of the terms of service because it may threaten violence," Stelter said. "These are the kinds of questions that social media companies now have to ask themselves."