World

Twitter's troll-in-chief and his Trumped-up truths

WASHINGTON: Since winning the US presidency, Mr Donald Trump has exploited Twitter to make administrative announcements, weigh in on foreign policy - and hurl barbs at anyone who crosses him.

With 19.8 million followers, the president-elect has leaned heavily on the online platform as a powerful way to self-promote, attack and distract.

During his presidential transition, he has picked fights on Twitter with China, Mexico, Lockheed Martin, Toyota, the media, President Barack Obama, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Meryl Streep and the cast of the musical Hamilton, among others.

Here are some of Trump's most controversial tweets since his Nov 8 election victory:

"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally." (Nov 27)

- Hillary Clinton eventually won the popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes. Experts and elected officials on both sides of the political aisle have dismissed claims of large-scale vote fraud.

"If Cuba is unwilling to make a better deal for the Cuban people, the Cuban/American people and the U.S. as a whole, I will terminate deal." (Nov 28)

­- Trump's threat to end the US thaw with Cuba launched by Mr Obama sparked speculation about the future of US policy toward the communist-ruled island.

"Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag - if they do, there must be consequences - perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!" (Nov 29)

- The president-elect's proposal incited backlash from much of political Washington, as burning an American flag is constitutionally permissible.

"The President of Taiwan CALLED ME today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!" (Dec 2)

- He infuriated Beijing after breaking with decades of US diplomatic precedent by speaking with Taiwan's President Tsai Ing-Wen.

"Doing my best to disregard the many inflammatory President O statements and roadblocks. Thought it was going to be a smooth transition - NOT!" (Dec 28)

- Mr Obama at one point suggested that he may have won a third term were he not constitutionally barred from doing so.

"Great move on delay (by V. Putin) - I always knew he was very smart!" (Dec 30)

- Mr Trump praised Mr Vladimir Putin for refraining from expelling Americans in response to US punitive measures over alleged Russian interference in the election.

"Toyota Motor said will build a new plant in Baja, Mexico, to build Corolla cars for U.S. NO WAY! Build plant in U.S. or pay big border tax." (Jan 5)

- That attack on the world's largest automaker caused its shares to slump.

"Meryl Streep, one of the most over-rated actresses in Hollywood, doesn't know me but attacked last night at the Golden Globes. She is a Hillary flunky who lost big." (Jan 9)

- Mr Trump was settling scores after Streep berated him for his divisive rhetoric.

"Intelligence agencies should never have allowed this fake news to "leak" into the public. One last shot at me. Are we living in Nazi Germany?" (Jan 11)

- He blamed the intelligence community for an incendiary but unsubstantiated report on his alleged Moscow ties. 
- AFP

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