“Modern Day Presidential:" Donald Trump and American Politics in the Age of Twitter

Devan Bissonette


The increasing power of social media over American news and politics is difficult to ignore thanks to the visibility of President Trump’s tweets both on online and traditional media. This paper seeks to better understand the strategy behind Donald Trump’s use of Twitter both as a candidate and during his first year as president. Through a careful study of his tweets and their ability to take advantage of the specific user makeup on Twitter and the choice of mainstream media to often echo his tweets in their coverage, a consistent strategy emerges based on a combination of traditional advertising practice and radicalist discourse that continues to reshape the American political landscape today.


Twitter, President Trump, social media, American politics, journalism

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Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2016a, October 19). Drugs are pouring into this country. If we have no border, we have no country. That’s why ICE endorsed me. #Debate #BigLeagueTruth. [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/788913202474000384

Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017c, January 30). If the ban were announced with a one week notice, the "bad" would rush into our country during that week. A lot of bad "dudes" out there! [Tweet. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/826060143825666051

Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017d, February 1). Everybody is arguing whether or not it is a BAN. Call it what you want, it is about keeping bad people (with bad intentions) out of country! [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/826774668245946368

Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017j, February 4). The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned! [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/827867311054974976

Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017k, February 4). What is our country coming to when a judge can halt a Homeland Security travel ban and anyone, even with bad intentions, can come into U.S.? [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/827981079042805761

Trump, D. [@realDonaldTrump]. (2017l, February 5). Just cannot believe a judge would put our country in such peril. If something happens blame him and court system. People pouring in. Bad! [Tweet]. Retrieved from https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/828342202174668800

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