Attention, everybody, President Trump did a tweet. Here it is:
Maxine Waters is, of course, the California congresswoman who often criticizes the president on television and whom the president often criticizes on Twitter. According to The Hill, Trump’s tweet followed a segment on Fox News about something Waters said on MSNBC earlier — that, for her 80th birthday on Wednesday, she’d love it if there were suddenly a different president.
Several weeks ago, the president tweeted what appeared to be a veiled threat aimed at her:
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:
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: