Shock and Awe: Trump Used Twitter Likes and Retweets to Maintain His Dangerous Decision to Withdraw From Syria

 
 
 
It was the week before Christmas, 2018. Out the the blue, President Donald Trump posted a series of tweets that he was pulling all U.S. troops out of Syria, immediately.

"We have won against ISIS. We have beaten them and we have beaten them badly," Trump said. "We have taken back the land and now it's time for our troops to come back home."

"Our boys, our young women, our men, they're all coming back," Trump added later. "And they're coming back now. We won. And that's the way we want it. And that's the way they want it."

The news shocked the world. Experts called it a threat to national security.

That decision to pull out of Syria despite the threat of ISIS, a decision Trump refused to scale back until weeks later, was the final straw that led Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to resign in protest.

Now, perhaps even more shocking, is that the Commander-in-Chief used the number of "likes" and "retweets" his announcement was getting to try to convince stunned lawmakers who went to visit him in the Oval Office that his decision was correct.

Trump responded to the GOP lawmakers "by calling in the man who oversees his Twitter account," Politico reports Thursday.

“Get Dan Scavino in here,” Trump called out in the middle of the meeting earlier this year. In walked a man in his early 40s 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.

Scavino, who is an attack shark on Twitter, "met Trump as a 16-year-old golf caddie and has spent much of his adult life by his side," Politico adds.

Today, he sits just feet from the Oval Office and is present at most meetings, tapping away on his laptop in the background. He has joined Trump on trips to Saudi Arabia, Argentina and other far-flung destinations.

And officials say he talks to the president more than just about anybody else aside from Trump’s own family members, ping-ponging in and out of the Oval, sometimes more than a half-dozen times a day.

That one of the top and closest advisors to the supposed leader of the free world is a former golf cabby who went on to become general manager of the Trump National Golf Club Westchester and who now serves officially as Assistant to the President should surprise no one these days.

That he's now being used to help the President shape foreign and military policy is beyond disturbing.

 

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