Overheard voices earlier this week coming out of the White House in Washington D.C., from near the Oval Office.
President Donald J. Trump: Okay boys what have you got for me today?
Aide No. 1: Well, sir, it’s a bit of a difficult topic but we feel it’s important in order to win the upcoming election.
Trump: Okay, then, what is it for goodness sake? Obviously, I want to win the 2020 election and keep the Democrats/Communists out of the White House.
Aide No. 2: Well, we want you to stop tweeting, sir.
Trump: What? Totally tweet-free? I don’t know if I could do that. Do you know how many followers I have? More than any other president in history. Okay, maybe some of them didn’t have Twitter in their day but it’s still a really, really big number. Actually, it’s 62,764,259 if you must know but it could have gone up since 5 a.m. this morning. It’s also how I bypass the enemies-of-the-state media with their fake news. You can’t trust them, you know.
Aide No. 3: We know sir but you also tend to be a little colourful and emotional on Twitter and when you lash back at your critics you tend to get a little unpresidential, shall we say. And sometimes your spelling is a bit, well, creative.
Trump: That’s what people like. I’m a straight shooter, I’m not politically correct, I give no credence to protocol and I’ll say anything.
Aide No. 1: Um, that’s part of the problem, sir. You pick fights that get you in trouble and divert the message when we should be riding high in the polls on the great economy and stock market.
Trump: That’s cause I gave all my rich buddies tax cuts and got rid of all that environmental regulation and stuff that was getting in the way of making money.
Aide No. 2: Exactly. Which basically translates to Make America Great Again or whatever new slogan we come up for 2020. You see you come off a little rough around the edges on Twitter, which some say includes shades of misogyny, racism and just plain meanness. Let’s just say we want a little more Teleprompter Trump and a lot less Twitter Trump. Okay?
Trump: But I hate doing Teleprompter Trump.
Aide No. 1: You can’t tell sir (smiling).
Trump: It’s not me, it’s you guys.
Aide No. 2: Exactly sir, Now you’re starting to get it.
Trump: But I won the election handily over Hillary by being me. And the Russian hoax had nothing to do with it by the way. And I’m not racist. It’s what the people want, me being me. They love me, or they’re Communists.
Aide No. 3: It’s what your people want sir, but that’s not enough to win the election. We have to expand your base and getting rid of the Twitter scandals would be a huge start.
Trump: Well, it’s not like all my scandals, err… troubles, are a result of my Twitter posts.
Aide No. 1: We fully realize that sir. There’s the rallies, the international functions, your family, your staff, the trade wars, your attorney general, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
Trump: I’ll tell you what I’m going to do and it’s much more satisfying than dumping Twitter, a thing I love by the way.
Aide No. 2: What’s that sir?
Trump: As I used to say on The Apprentice: you’re fired, you’re fired and you’re fired. Now get out of here and get me my phone. Also, turn on the TV too will ya? I gotta see what I missed. Oh look (pointing at phone) it’s gone up to 62,764,263. Quit Twitter, ha, I don’t think so.
Glenn Mitchell is the former editor of The Morning Star