Several weeks ago, the president tweeted what appeared to be a veiled threat aimed at her:
Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 25, 2018
So why did Trump tweet an almost nice thing about someone he’s tweeted mean things about?
He does this all the time: tweeting compliments of varying degrees of sincerity at the people whom he believes are his enemies is a mainstay of Trump’s history on Twitter. He used the platform to fight online long before he became president, and peppered in between insults are tweets like the one Trump sent about Waters.
Behold, a list of tweets from Trump sending well wishes to his haters and losers:
Happy Thanksgiving to all--even the haters and losers!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 27, 2013
Happy 4th of July to everyone, including the haters and losers!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 4, 2014
Happy Father's Day to all, even the haters and losers!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2013
I would like to wish all fathers, even the haters and losers, a very happy Fathers Day.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 15, 2014
Losers and haters are invited to watch Celebrity Apprentice along with the many great and productive people in the hope that you will learn.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2013
And perhaps the most striking one:
At least one example from his account suggests that “being nice” to one of his haters is part of the game. If he’s nice to someone, and then they’re mean to him, it justifies hitting them back.
Take his Twitter history of insulting comedian Rosie O’Donnell. The Trump Twitter Archive has a handy collection of Trump’s past feud with the comedian. That feud predates his Twitter presence — Trump first attacked O’Donnell in 2006, after she said something insulting about him on “The View.”
He threatened to sue her, reveling in the idea of “taking lots of money from my nice fat little Rosie.” Once Trump started tweeting, insulting O’Donnell on the platform became a part of his regular rotation. Here are examples:
And then, in August 2012 O’Donnell announced she had survived a heart attack. Shortly after the announcement, Trump tweeted something nice:
O’Donnell replied, “well thank u donald – i must admit ur post was a bit of a shock … r u trying to kill me ? xx.” The cease-fire held for a few more Trump tweets.
In November 2012, Trump resumed business as normal.
And then, the tweet that probably best sums up why Trump sends compliments to his haters: