Well, it’s finally come to this: Donald Trump has had his Twitter account confiscated by his campaign, according to a Sunday New York Times report. It’s not at all surprising that his team would want to do this, given how often Trump has inflicted damage on his own candidacy through ill-advised tweets, sometimes sent in the wee hours of the morning. The only thing surprising about this is how long it took Trump’s enablers to finally pull the trigger. Bustle has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.
Trump’s Twitter use has landed him in hot water throughout this campaign. The most notable instance, and perhaps the most damaging as well, was when he rage-tweeted against former Miss Universe Alicia Machado at 3 a.m. after Machado accused Trump, the former owner of the beauty pageant, of calling her “Miss Piggy” and “Miss Housekeeping” years ago. Trump responded on Twitter, calling Machado “disgusting” and suggested his followers look up her “sex tape,” which does not exist.
Earlier in the campaign, when a gunman in Orlando killed 50 people at a gay night club, Trump sent off a tweet congratulating himself for being “right on radical Islamic terror.” The fact that this was the first tweet he sent after the massacre, and that he did so before offering any sort of condolences to the victims’ families, drew heavy criticism from some Republicans, who lamented that Trump wasted an opportunity to present himself as tough on terrorism in order to pat himself on the back instead.
Oh, and let’s not forget the time Trump tweeted out that anti-Semitic meme — the one with a picture of Hillary Clinton, a pile of money, and a six-pointed Star of David with the words “most corrupt candidate ever.” His team denied that there was any anti-Semitic intent behind the tweet, despite the fact that the image originated on a white nationalist online forum, but then deleted it anyway under immense pressure.
There are many, many more examples of Trump shooting himself in the foot with his Twitter account, so it makes sense that his team has finally revoked his tweeting rights. And this does not speak highly of his qualifications to serve as commander-in-chief, as President Obama pointed out in a campaign stop for Clinton after the news broke.
“If somebody can't handle a Twitter account, they can't handle the nuclear codes,” Obama said at a Clinton rally in Florida.
More importantly, this move by the Trump team comes far too late for it to achieve its intended effect. Trump’s polling numbers cratered right around the time of the Machado tweetstorm and never fully recovered, and he can’t unsend that anti-Semitic image. These things make an impression on voters. The damage from Trump's poor Twitter judgment, regardless of how great it is, has already been done.