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Digital Subscriptions > Newsweek International > 27 January 2017 > COMMANDER IN TWEETS

COMMANDER IN TWEETS

WILL TRUMP’S FIRST 100 DAYS IN OFFICE BE LIKE HIS LAST 100 TWEETS?

THEY COME WITHOUT WARNING, AND SPREAD WRECKAGE AND CONFUSION AROUND THE GLOBE.

At American intelligence agencies, they have decimated morale, according to a government official with ties to that community. Key officers who made personal sacri ces because of their love of country are sprucing up their résumés in preparation of jumping to the more lucrative private sector. In the field, agents are finding a growing reticence among overseas sources to continue taking personal risks to provide information to the United States about activities by foreign governments.

In South Korea, they have boosted feelings of security, as officials there have con ded to contacts in the United States that they are feeling more secure. The American government, they believe, will soon take much stronger action in response to North Korea’s repeated flouting of United Nations resolutions calling for Pyongyang to dismantle its nuclear program and halt ballistic missile tests.

For Alec Baldwin, they have boosted his fame worldwide. They have informed people who pay no attention to TV that ratings for the Celebrity Apprentice reality show have fallen. For some on Wall Street, one executive told Newsweek, they have created a new strategy: betting on “Trump slumps,” in which traders watch television news reports for a corporate development that might anger Donald Trump and then, in hopes he will tweet mean things, enter short-term trades where they would profit if the company’s stock price falls.

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO KNOW IF TRUMP IS GIVING A CONSIDERED ARGUMENT OR IS JUST REACTING TO SOMETHING HE READ ON A CEREAL BOX.

All of these extraordinary events are the result of government by Twitter, a bizarre new world in which an internet communications platform combines with an impulsive president to create global chaos in investment markets, overseas halls of power and domestic agencies. In the morning or afternoon or the middle of night, Trump delivers 140-character proclamations on policy and piffle in arbitrary flashes of power and spite that shoot across the virtual firmament without warning. Discussions and debates about their content in the news media and on the internet follow for a few hours—Why can’t flag burning be banned? Why is a new Air Force One being built?—before moving on, unresolved, to another Trump topic d’Tweet.

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Will Trump’s first 100 days in office be like his last 100 tweets?
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