If you thought Donald Trump would give up his Twitter habit if he won the election, think again.
President-elect Trump is back on the site with a vengeance since his victory last Tuesday, sending roughly two dozen tweets about the election and the media’s coverage of his transition. Most have his signature mix of stock enthusiasm and defensive grumbling, a tone that is hard to fake and a sign to observers the tweets are coming from the man himself.
If the past is any indication, this is an overture to a presidency in which the commander in chief will — at his own behest — telegraph his many moods and grievances to the entire world online.
Much of Trump’s ire has been leveled at the New York Times for reporting the chaos that surrounds the presidential transition, but the paper is not his only target.
On Tuesday, for example, seeming defensive about his presumptive loss to Hillary Clinton in the popular vote, he proceeded to implicitly criticize the electoral college:
Then, under what reads like influence from an aide, he complimented the electoral college six minutes later:
Expect similar about-faces in the weeks ahead, as Trump and his staff compete to control the opening tone of his presidency.
In another example, Trump took to Twitter after 9 p.m. two days after the election to criticize protesters rallying against his win:
By 6:15 a.m. the next morning, he reversed himself and seemed to embrace the protests:
In the last 24 hours, Trump has used Twitter to push back on widely reported facts of turmoil within his transition. In these messages, the New York Times has borne the brunt of his criticism:
There is much to interpret in these words — the use of the word “finalist,” connoting Trump’s history as a reality television star, is just one point — but most importantly, they are accessible to anyone with an Internet connection.
Foreign governments, prepare to start decoding.