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WJLA: Trump turns to Twitter to fight back against impeachment, 280 characters at a time

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Washington, October 1, 2019 | comments
Trump turns to Twitter to fight back against impeachment, 280 characters at a time

BY STEPHEN LOIACONI - 10/01/2019 

President Donald Trump’s social media accounts have quickly become his primary venue for pushing back against Democrats pursuing an impeachment inquiry, but experts say his 280-character missives tinged with threats, misstatements, and dubious allegations may undermine his ability to convince a broader audience of his innocence.

“Trump’s mastery of Twitter helped him become president, but that medium is not well suited for advancing legal arguments,” said Stephen Farnsworth, director of the Center for Leadership and Media Studies at the University of Mary Washington and author of “Presidential Communication and Character: White House News Management from Clinton and Cable to Twitter and Trump.” 

Trump has posted more than 200 tweets or retweets--many of them about impeachment--since House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., announced the opening of an inquiry last Tuesday amid allegations that the president pressured Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy to investigate his political opponents. His reelection campaign has also run nearly 2,000 Facebook ads mentioning impeachment that have been viewed 16 to 18 million times in the last week.
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“This is what a dictator sounds like,” Rep. Don Beyer, D-Va., tweeted Monday after Trump suggested Schiff be arrested for treason.

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