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Thread: ‘Get Scavino in here’: Trump’s Twitter guru is the ultimate insider

  1. #1
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    ‘Get Scavino in here’: Trump’s Twitter guru is the ultimate insider

    ‘Get Scavino in here’: Trump’s Twitter guru is the ultimate insider

    Shortly after President Donald Trump announced plans to yank U.S. troops out of Syria last December, a group of lawmakers came to the White House to talk him out of the idea, which critics called a threat to national security.

    Trump responded by calling in the man who oversees his Twitter account.

    “Get Dan Scavino in here,” Trump called out in the middle of the meeting earlier this year. In walked a man in his early forties with close-cropped brown hair.

    “Tell them how popular my policy is,” Trump instructed Scavino, who, according to two people with knowledge of the exchange, proceeded to walk lawmakers through the positive reaction he had picked up on social media about Trump’s Syria decision.

    The sudden pivot from geostrategy to retweets and likes surprised the lawmakers. It was a remarkable moment given that not long ago Scavino was managing Trump’s golf club. But for Scavino himself, it was just another day on the job.

    With few allies left in the West Wing, Trump frequently leans on his unassuming social media guru for affirmation and advice about how his most sensitive policies will be received, according to interviews with more than two dozen current and former White House officials, and others close to the president.
    A fascinating insight into the deliberative process inside this administration.

    Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally. Nationalism, on the other hand, is inseparable from the desire for power. The abiding purpose of every nationalist is to secure more power and more prestige, not for himself but for the nation or other unit in which he has chosen to sink his own individuality.
    -George Orwell, Notes on Nationalism

  2. #2
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    The sudden pivot from geostrategy to retweets and likes surprised the lawmakers.

    That bit makes the story somewhat suspect for me. Lawmakers are all well aware of who Trump is by now.
    The reason Trump succeeded isn’t that complicated after all. He didn’t win the nomination by tapping into some nascent political movement. He won by doing a fairly good impression of a right-wing media celebrity. Every issue, every conspiracy, every applause line has been ripped from their websites, radio shows, and television programs. It’s why he became America’s most prominent birther. It’s why he floated rumors that Ted Cruz’s dad killed JFK, and that Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster. It’s why he talks the way he does about Mexicans and Muslims and women and African Americans. It’s why he’s been able to get away with knowing little to nothing about policy or government or world affairs — because Trump, like any good talking head, only speaks in chyrons and clauses and some-people-are-sayings.

    Trump’s greatest trick has been to realize that right-wing media stars have a built-in audience that Republican politicians don’t. To that audience, Jeb Bush talks like Washington talks. Ted Cruz talks like conservative ideologues talk. Marco Rubio talks like the last consultant he spoke with talks. But Trump talks like a true talk radio fan — longtime listener, first-time caller. He comes off like the winner of a reality TV show in which one lucky Fox viewer gets picked to run for president of the United States.

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