The often flippant, emotional stream of tweets from President Trump never ceases to amaze, particularly since it is, for all intents and purposes, filled with official messages from the White House.
Now, thanks to one clever Twitter user, we can view those often bombastic, poorly worded, and downright trivial tweets in their proper context: official White House statements.
On Sunday, Twitter user Russel Neiss launched a new Twitter bot called Real Press Sec., which takes Trump’s tweets and presents them in the familiar form of an official White House press statement. The effect of seeing Trump’s social media bloviation as history-framed, official-looking statements from the nation’s highest office is devastatingly poignant.
Neiss says he was inspired to create the bot, which took just an hour of coding to put together (since the code was based on his work on an earlier Twitter bot, @stl_manifest), by tweets from former Obama White House staffer Pat Cunnane and New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman. The bot searches for new @realdonaldtrump tweets every 15 minutes and if it finds a new one posts it on the Real Press Sec. Twitter account in White House statement format.
Since Trump took office, he’s continued sending the same kinds of colorful messages via Twitter he sent while operating as a private citizen. But in recent months, the running logic from some Trump supporters has been that we shouldn’t take those messages from the president that seriously since “it’s just Twitter.”
But this Twitter bot destroys that pretense and reminds us that the man who has his “finger on the button” as leader of the United States, is using the country’s most powerful office to say things many thought they’d never hear come from the halls of the White House.