Trump's 100 days on Twitter: @realDonaldTrump by numbers
As president, Donald Trump uses Twitter to woo his supporters, irritate his enemies and put his own spin on his achievements – and it reveals more about his presidency than meets the eye. Evan Annett looks back at his time in office so far
The hundred-day milestone is usually a time to count a leader's policy achievements, promises kept and broken, battles won and lost. But for Donald Trump, the second U.S. president of the Twitter age, the character count matters, too.
April 29 is Mr. Trump's 100th day in office. To take stock of what he's said and done, The Globe analyzed @realDonaldTrump's feed using the Trump Twitter Archive – an hourly-updated database created by American programmer Brendan Brown – and Twitter's Advanced Search tool to see what he was talking about and when. There's also a highlight reel of 10 tweets that commented on or instigated major events in Mr. Trump's presidency.
From Inauguration Day to 7 a.m. (ET) Friday, Mr. Trump tweeted 510 times, including retweets. That's much less than he was tweeting during the 2016 election campaign; in terms of monthly volume, it's more in line with his output from 2011 and 2012, when he was openly considering a run for the presidency and his political tweeting first began in earnest.
The official presidential @POTUS account, which Mr. Trump and his staff inherited from Barack Obama on Inauguration Day, has tweeted 493 times in the same period, including retweets.
By comparison, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) tweeted 222 times in the 100 days after his swearing-in on Nov. 4, 2015, with another 136 coming from the official @CanadianPM account in the same period. (That tally is lower if you count the tweets posted twice, once in French and once in English, as single messages.)
Mr. Trump said more on Twitter in his first 100 days than his predecessor, an early adopter of the platform who came into office just as it was gaining mainstream success. In Mr. Obama's first 100 days as president in 2009, he tweeted twice, and one was about reaching the 100-day milestone:
Question about the economy? Ask President Obama: http://whitehouse.gov/OpenForQuestions— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) March 25, 2009
Check out the progress made in President Obama’s first 100 days: http://tiny.cc/AHwBb— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 28, 2009
By coincidence, Mr. Trump's 100th day in office is 10 years to the day since Mr. Obama sent his first tweet. At the time, it had been just more than two months since Mr. Obama declared his candidacy to run for president.
Thinking we're only one signature away from ending the war in Iraq.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) April 29, 2007
Learn more at http://www.barackobama.com
Today, Mr. Obama has 87.2 million followers, about three times as many as Mr. Trump (28.4 million) and 28 times as many as Mr. Trudeau (3.1 million).
By time of day
Mr. Trump's busiest time of day on Twitter is between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. (ET), with smaller peaks in the afternoon.
Up until March, when he stopped using his personal Android phone (more on that later), the morning hours were when tweets were most likely to come from an Android device, while iPhone-based tweets dominated during the rest of the day.
Mr. Trump's use of an older, unsecured Android phone – reportedly a Samsung Galaxy S3, a model released in 2012 – was a contentious issue in the early months of his presidency. Security experts feared the phone could be hacked or surveilled for information about his whereabouts. Despite urging from aides, the President kept the device until March, when Dan Scavino, the White House social-media director, said he had switched to an iPhone:
Sure enough, the Android-based tweets from @realDonaldTrump stopped cold after March 8, though two more surfaced on March 25.
The Android phone's apparent demise, while likely a boon for U.S. national security, gives Trump-watchers one less tool to deduce which @realDonaldTrump tweets are, in fact, the real Donald Trump, and which are written by his staff. During the 2016 election, an analysis by data scientist David Robinson pointed out that the Android tweets used angrier language, fewer pictures and fewer hashtags, while the iPhone tweets were more polished political messages in an apparent imitation of Mr. Trump's voice.
There's still a sharp difference in where the tweets from @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS come from. Whoever runs @POTUS is more likely to tweet from an iPhone or a desktop application like TweetDeck or the Twitter website.
Mr. Trump's loud, emphatic social-media voice is nothing if not consistent. His tweets contained the word "great" in 84 tweets in his first 100 days, with variations on his campaign slogan – "Make America Great Again," "#MAGA" or "#MAGAus" – appearing in 20 tweets.
In his first 100 days, Mr. Trump ended sentences with exclamation points in 53 per cent of his @realDonaldTrump tweets. Eighteen per cent wrote a word or phrase in all caps (not counting acronyms).
Media organizations get almost as many mentions as his political rivals: "Media" is used in 32 tweets; "fake news," "fake media" or variations in 38; "@nytimes" in 18 and "failing @nytimes" in 16. "Democrats" or "Dems," meanwhile, was mentioned in 35 tweets.
What did he say about Canada?
Mr. Trump touched on Canada seven times and, up until the final week before his 100th-day milestone, it was in friendly and positive terms. Three tweets were from Mr. Trudeau's visit to Washington in February:
Today I will meet with Canadian PM Trudeau and a group of leading business women to discuss women in the workforce. https://t.co/bFAHPRXHdP— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 13, 2017
The fourth was a favourable remark in March about Canada's points-based immigration system, which he said was worth emulating in the United States. The remark was apparently prompted by an appearance on the TV show Fox and Friends by conservative author Nick Adams, who recently wrote a book about his process of immigrating to the United States from Australia:
Nick Adams new book, Green Card Warrior, is a must read. The merit-based system is the way to go. Canada, Australia! @foxandfriends— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2017
Then things took a sharp negative turn in late April, as Mr. Trump launched blistering critiques of Canada's dairy and softwood lumber policies. On April 25, he tweeted a rebuke of Canada for making things "very difficult" for dairy-producing Wisconsin:
Canada has made business for our dairy farmers in Wisconsin and other border states very difficult. We will not stand for this. Watch!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 25, 2017
On Wednesday, reports emerged that he was poised to sign an executive order pulling the United States out of the North American free-trade agreement. But after emergency talks with Mr. Trudeau and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, Mr. Trump said in two tweets Thursday morning that the NAFTA termination order was on hold:
I received calls from the President of Mexico and the Prime Minister of Canada asking to renegotiate NAFTA rather than terminate. I agreed..— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2017
...subject to the fact that if we do not reach a fair deal for all, we will then terminate NAFTA. Relationships are good-deal very possible!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2017
The Trump presidency, in 10 tweets
Here's how 10 tweets commented on or instigated major events in the President's first 100 days.
Day 1: 'It all begins today'
This was Mr. Trump's first tweet from the morning of his Inauguration Day. He sent it a few hours before heading to the White House to meet Mr. Obama for coffee, before the men set off for the Capitol for the swearing-in ceremony.
It all begins today! I will see you at 11:00 A.M. for the swearing-in. THE MOVEMENT CONTINUES - THE WORK BEGINS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 20, 2017
Day 3: 'Why didn't these people vote?'
The day after the inauguration, more than a million people took to the streets in the U.S. capital and at solidarity marches around the world for the Women's March on Washington. Here's what Mr. Trump had to say about the demonstrations:
Watched protests yesterday but was under the impression that we just had an election! Why didn't these people vote? Celebs hurt cause badly.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 22, 2017
Day 16: 'This so-called judge'
Soon after taking office, Mr. Trump issued an executive order temporarily barring citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. On Feb. 3, a federal judge in Washington State issued a restraining order that put the ban on hold, which Mr. Trump vowed to fight in court. Higher courts upheld the ban and suspended a second, similar order by Mr. Trump in March.
The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 4, 2017
Day 20: 'Ivanka has been treated so unfairly'
On Feb. 8, Mr. Trump picked a public fight with the department-store chain Nordstrom, which, citing poor sales, had just dropped his daughter Ivanka's clothing line. Ethics officials and critics accused Mr. Trump of using his public profile to defend his family's business interests, but he stood by the remarks and said he was "proud" of his daughter.
My daughter Ivanka has been treated so unfairly by @Nordstrom. She is a great person -- always pushing me to do the right thing! Terrible!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 8, 2017
Day 29: 'Enemy of the American People'
Mr. Trump's fraught relationship with the news media took a surreal turn in mid-February after his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was fired for misleading the vice-president about his contact with a Russian ambassador. On Feb. 16, Mr. Trump gave a combative, unscripted, 78-minute-long news conference where he called journalists "dishonest people," and the next day he tweeted that they were "enemies of the American People."
Day 44: 'Tapp my phones'
Forty-five days into his presidency, Mr. Trump accused his predecessor of having tapped his phones during the 2016 election campaign. He offered no evidence for the claim, which an aide for the former president said was "simply false." He stood by the accusation despite calls from fellow Republicans to apologize.
How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2017
Day 55: 'Jail time!'
Rappers are no strangers to Twitter beefs, but Snoop Dogg's public rebuke by Mr. Trump was stranger than most. The President was upset about a music video in which the California rapper aimed a toy gun at a clown impersonator of Mr. Trump. The video was for a remix of a song by the Canadian group BADBADNOTGOOD.
Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2017
Day 65: 'ObamaCare will explode'
In Mr. Trump's first 100 days, health care was one of his most discussed policy issues (21 tweets mentioning "health care" or "healthcare," 21 for "Obamacare" or "Ocare," three for "#RepealANDreplace"). He used social media to urge congressmen to pass the American Health Care Act, popularly known as Ryancare, the proposed Republican replacement for Mr. Obama's Affordable Health Care Act, or Obamacare. The legislation fell apart, and Mr. Trump blamed the conservative "Freedom Caucus" of Republicans in the House of Representatives.
ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2017
Day 82: 'North Korea is looking for trouble'
Amid escalating tensions with North Korea over its nuclear and missile-defence programs, Mr. Trump's bellicose Twitter diplomacy didn't often sit well with Pyongyang. In an interview with Associated Press, Vice-Minister Han Song-ryol cited Mr. Trump's tweets and "aggressive words" as forms of provocation.
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
Day 92: 'the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days'
Mr. Trump's conflicting attitudes about his 100-day milestone came to the fore in an interview with Associated Press's Julie Pace published April 23. He boasted about some achievements (of his speech to Congress, he said, "some people said it was the single best speech ever made in that chamber"); he distanced himself from the 100-day plan he put forward as a candidate ("Somebody, yeah, somebody put out the concept of a 100-day plan"); and he said the milestone was an "artificial barrier" anyway. On Twitter, he expressed doubt about whether the media would assess his 100 days fairly.
No matter how much I accomplish during the ridiculous standard of the first 100 days, & it has been a lot (including S.C.), media will kill!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 21, 2017
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