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.”