President Donald Trump admitted that he often regrets his tweets and retweets on Friday, in a new interview with Barstool Sports. The president suggested that his online outbursts are often a matter of poor impulse control, reminiscing about the "old days when you could write a letter and let it sit for a day." He acknowledged some of his recent Twitter mistakes as well.
"Do you sometimes — because I follow you on Twitter and I know I do this... do you ever tweet out and be like — you wake up and, 'Aw man, I wish I didn't send that one out'?" asked Barstool Sports founder and president Dave Portnoy, who interviewed the president in the White House.
"Often, too often," the president responded. "It used to be in the old days before this, you'd write a letter and you'd say this letter is very big. You put it on your desk and then you go back tomorrow and you say, 'Oh, I'm glad I didn't send it,' right? But we don't do that with Twitter, right? We put it out instantaneously, we feel great, and then you start getting phone calls — 'Did you really say this?' I say, 'What's wrong with that?' and you find out a lot of things."
Trump went on to say that "it's the retweets" that really get him "into trouble." He said that he does not look carefully enough at things before retweeting them sometimes. "You see something that looks good and you don't investigate it and you don't know what's on the helmet exactly, right, which is a miniature and you don't blow it up, it sometimes — I have found that almost always it's the retweets that get you in trouble," Trump said.
The president could have been referring to recent retweets, such as a video where one of his supporters shouted "White power!" at his detractors. As for "trouble," the president might have been referring to Twitter's recent trend of cracking down on his content, or on the criticism, he receives from the media.
Trump's biggest recent Twitter controversy was a retweet of former game show host Chuck Woolery, who wrote that the coronavirus pandemic is a conspiracy to hurt the president's re-election campaign. This unfounded conspiracy theory was viewed as harmful misinformation as well as offensive to the millions of people around the world who have lost loved ones to COVID-19.
Portnoy is no stranger to social media controversy himself, having founded a viral online brand. Portnoy has been outspoken against workers' unions and "politically correct culture," and especially for his blunt tone on sensitive subjects online.