Update: On Monday morning, White House adviser Kellyanne Conway appeared on Fox News to excoriate the media for covering President Trump’s tweets instead of his policy priorities. Last week, we looked at how often Trump himself tweeted about the policy priorities of his administration.
It was infrequent. That analysis is below.
At the end of the day Friday, the White House will draw to a close its laserlike focus on America’s energy industry, the target of policy proposals and events during this, Energy Week.
Hmm? You didn’t know it was Energy Week? Well, surely you didn’t think that the White House would not declare a theme for the week of June 26 to 30 after naming Infrastructure Week, Workforce Development Week and Technology Week, right? Oh, you didn’t know about those either?
Well, I guess I can’t really blame you. After all, it’s not totally clear that President Trump knew that there were themes to each week, either.
Trump has taken to insisting that his Twitter account is his preferred means of communicating with the American people, a reaction to the suggestion from some quarters that perhaps he’d be better off by tweeting less. The media, he tweeted on June 6 (during Infrastructure Week), “hate[s] that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out” by tweeting.
Given that his communications team put in so much work to identify themes for each week of the month, we figured we’d go back and look to see how often Trump got his honest and unfiltered message out to his 33 million followers on Twitter.
Of his 163 tweets on Monday through Friday of each of those four weeks, fully 12 were actually addressing the subject that the White House was “focusing on” that week. That’s about 7 percent of on-message tweets — including two Twitter ads about infrastructure that ran on his account.
During Technology Week, he didn’t once tweet about technology — except to say that, no, he hadn’t personally taped any conversations in the Oval Office.
What was he talking about instead? The usual: Russia. Fake news. What he was watching on television.
There was also that near-record Twitter drought in the middle of Infrastructure Week when, after former FBI director James B. Comey testified on Capitol Hill about the Russia investigation, Trump’s aides impressed upon him not to tweet anything at all.
In that, they were successful. In advocating for the policy of the moment? Less so.