Trump Plays Up Ability to ‘Change Tones’ in Speeches, Retweets Meme of Himself ‘Eclipsing’ Obama

President Donald Trump, in a series of tweets, suggested that his ability to shift tones between speeches was an asset, noting that the “fake news” was complaining of the changing types of rhetoric over the past few days.

“The Fake News is now complaining about my different types of back to back speeches,” Trump wrote on Twitter on Thursday. “Well, their (sic) was Afghanistan (somber), the big Rally (enthusiastic, dynamic and fun) and the American Legion – V.A. (respectful and strong). To (sic) bad the Dems have no one who can change tones!…”

Trump later corrected the spelling errors.

Plenty of media attention was devoted to how Trump’s rhetoric differed when he was reading from a Teleprompter (as he was for the Afghanistan and American Legion speeches) and when he was speaking off the cuff (as he did at the Phoenix rally).

James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, has questioned Trump’s fitness for office, and said on CNN that the president’s “Jekyll-Hyde business” was “disturbing.”

Trump slammed Clapper, writing in a tweet that he “famously got caught lying to Congress,” and “is now an authority on Donald Trump. Will he show you his beautiful letter to me?” Trump was referring to testimony that Clapper made to the Senate Intelligence Committee in 2012 over the collection of personal data. He later said that he misspoke when he claimed that the federal government was not collecting such records, something that was later contradicted by Edward Snowden’s intelligence leaks.

At the latter, Trump called for unity in the aftermath of the Charlottesville violence, but he also devoted a big portion of the speech to bashing the media, saying at one point that he believes that they “don’t like our country.” He also criticized Arizona’s two Republican senators, John McCain and Jeff Flake, albeit not by name, and hinted that he may be ready to pardon controversial Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

In his Thursday tweets, Trump also chided House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), claiming that he requested that they include debt ceiling legislation in a Veterans Administration bill.

“They didn’t do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy-now a mess!” Trump tweeted.

There had been reports in July that Congress was looking at tying the debt ceiling legislation to the popular VA bill, as a tactic of avoiding a showdown in September. The debt ceiling must be raised by the end of September or the federal government risks a default. Some Republican lawmakers want spending cuts attached to the debt ceiling increase as a condition of their backing.

Congress also needs to pass legislation to fund the government past Sept. 30.

At his Tuesday rally in Phoenix, Trump said that he would be willing to shut down the government if a new spending bill does not includes funds for constructing a border wall.

Trump again faulted McConnell for being unable to pass legislation to repeal and replace Obamacare, writing that “he failed’ after promising such a move for seven years.

Trump also retweeted self-described YouTube actor Joey Travone, who had posted an eclipse-inspired meme of Trump overshadowing his predecessor, President Barack Obama. Travone, however, has come under fire for tweeting out an anti-Semitic message on Aug. 20, when he wrote that “we have enough of these jews where I live lol someone else take them. They just can’t drive.”

Popular on Variety

More Biz

  • Mass Appeal and Universal Launch Hip-Hop

    Nas, Mass Appeal and Universal Music Launch Hip-Hop Label in India, Sign Divine

    Mass Appeal and Universal Music Group today announced the launch of Mass Appeal India – a new label dedicated to amplifying India’s burgeoning hip-hop culture on a global scale. The new label’s operations will be based Universal Music India’s headquarters in Mumbai and will function as a multi-channel partnership between the two companies. According to the announcement, Mass Appeal India will sign and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, center, arrives to court

    Weinstein's Attorneys Seek to Move Trial to Long Island or Albany

    Harvey Weinstein’s attorneys want his rape trial moved to Long Island or Albany, citing the “circus-like atmosphere” surrounding the courthouse in Manhattan. Weinstein is set to go on trial on Sept. 9 on five charges of rape and sexual assault. The disgraced producer faces a potential life term if convicted. In a motion to the [...]

  • Edge, left, Adam Clayton, and Bono

    New York’s PlayStation Theater to Close (EXCLUSIVE)

    New York’s PlayStation Theater, a 2,100-capacity venue located in Times Square and operated by Bowery Presents, will close at the end of 2019, a source close to the situation tells Variety. The venue will close with a New Year’s series of shows from the Disco Biscuits. The theater, which is located two stories beneath the [...]

  • Courtesy of Earwolf

    How Lauren Lapkus Tossed the Script and Created a Podcasting Hit

    Lauren Lapkus has tossed the script on what makes most podcasts a hit. At a time when many of the most downloaded shows are true crime investigations or celebrity interviews, she’s doing something entirely different on each episode of “With Special Guest Lauren Lapkus.” Each hour-long installment is a free-wheeling, completely improvised ride. One show [...]


    WWE's 'NXT' Moves to USA Network as Wrestling Competition Heats Up

    WWE has struck a deal to move its “NXT” franchise focusing on rising stars to USA Network starting next month. “NXT” will shift to USA from the WWE Network subscription streaming service as of Sept. 18. The deal comes as USA is about to lose WWE’s “SmackDown” showcase to Fox starting in October. USA is [...]

  • Shazam

    Apple Music Launches 'Shazam Discovery' Chart, Focused on New Artists

    Apple Music today launched the “Shazam Discovery Top 50,” a weekly, global ranking of 50 artists that it describes as “on the move and trending” — in other words, new and emerging artists. While the company wouldn’t say much specifically about how the chart is tabulated, it uses “Shazam’s proprietary algorithms [to offer] a unique predictive view [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content