Trump Pinned A Tweet Denying Russia Ties To His Twitter Banner & Then Removed It
President Donald Trump has made a name for himself sending erratic tweets at all hours of the day — arguably it's what set him on the path to the White House years ago. But on Tuesday, following the Senate Judiciary Committee's crime and terrorism subcommittee hearings on Russia's alleged interference in the 2016 election, he needed to go a bit further. Yes, Trump actually included a tweet into his Twitter banner denying Russia collusion claims. It appears as though he quickly thought twice about it, though, as the banner image was changed soon after.
Perhaps that was for the ridicule he saw online, as Twitter users heckled the president for using software to pair his tweet with a picture of him surrounded by a huge group of people in the Oval Office giving a thumbs up to the camera. On top of that, the banner didn't show up right on many devices and the text was cropped out. The tweet he chose to highlight — seeming with the help of advisers or at least an intern — focused on something James Clapper said Monday.
Both Clapper, former director of national intelligence, and Sally Yates, former acting attorney general, testified on Russia's role in the 2016 presidential election and possible Trump campaign collusion. Trump tweeted afterwards, "Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows — there is 'no evidence' of collusion w/ Russia and Trump." Then he made it his Twitter banner in what seems to be a sign of desperation for good news regarding Russia.
Of course, Clapper didn't exactly say there was no evidence. He testified that he was not privy to any evidence about collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign. "The evidence, if there was any, didn't reach the evidentiary bar in terms of the level of confidence that we were striving for in that intelligence community assessment," Clapper said. It's important to note that Clapper was not aware of the FBI investigation into possible collusion until FBI Director James Comey told Congress about it in March.
The fact that Clapper's testimony by no means lays the issue to rest makes Trump's banner move all the more sad. It's like putting a report card full of mediocre grades on the refrigerator. Not to mention, the tweet just doesn't look aesthetically pleasing in the banner.
Of course, the banner change may have been the most noticeable Trump response to the hearing, but it was not the only one. Trump tweeted several other things about the testimonies. One directly connects to the Twitter banner. "The Russia-Trump collusion story is a total hoax, when will this taxpayer funded charade end?" Trump asked. Discrediting the investigation that could ultimately clear him of any wrongdoing does not seem to be the way to go.
The rest focused on Yates and her testimony about Michael Flynn. She explained that she warned the White House counsel that Flynn had misled Vice President Mike Pence about his conversations with the Russian ambassador, which created a "situation where the national security adviser essentially could be blackmailed by the Russians." Not good.
Trump, nonetheless, stood up for Flynn on Twitter and attacked Yates. The more you read the transcript of the actual testimony, the more you'll see that the Trump administration did not come out looking very good. And the Twitter banner definitely didn't help things.