ONLY FOES deride Twitter use, Trump says
WASHINGTON — While his administration sought a reset in the West Wing, President Donald Trump made clear that he will not change his Twitter habit.
On Twitter on Tuesday, Trump said: “Only the Fake News Media and Trump enemies want me to stop using Social Media (110 million people). Only way for me to get the truth out!”
The tweet came a day after retired Gen. John Kelly took over as Trump’s new chief of staff. Tapped to bring order to the West Wing, Kelly quickly made his presence known Monday — by leading the ouster of newly appointed communications director Anthony Scaramucci and revising the command structure so all senior staff members report to him.
Those moves were praised Monday by Trump allies and lawmakers, who expressed hope that Kelly would help stem internal conflicts and advance a policy agenda after six months of tumult. But less clear is how much control Kelly will have over Trump’s predilection for sowing conflict and making off-the-cuff comments on social media.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, speaking on NBC’s Today show, said he was encouraged by Kelly’s new role but stressed that he was looking for “discipline” from Trump in order to move forward with issues such as health care and an overhaul of the tax system.
“He has an obligation to be president for all of us and stop the chaos. Most of the chaos is generated by him and no one else,” Graham said.
Separately, after Trump on Twitter accused China of failing to tame its neighbor and longtime ally North Korea, Beijing issued its own rebuke to Trump in an editorial published by Xinhua, the official news agency.
“Trump is quite a personality, and he likes to tweet,” said Xinhua’s response, issued late Monday and widely displayed on Chinese news websites. “But emotional venting cannot become a guiding policy for solving the nuclear issue on the peninsula,” it said, referring to the divided Korean Peninsula.
The United States, it added, “must not continue spurning responsibility” for the volatile standoff with North Korea, “and even less should it stab China in the back.”
“I am very disappointed in China,” Trump said on Twitter on Sunday, after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
Despite China’s big trade surplus with the United States, he continued in a second tweet, “they do NOTHING for us with North Korea, just talk.”
Information for this article was contributed by Catherine Lucey of The Associated Press and by Chris Buckley and Austin Ramzy of The New York Times.