Illustration: Nick Wanserski

Most of us wake every morning with a now-familiar pang of dread as we check our Twitter feed, once a source of weather updates and cute animal pictures, now a hellscape lorded over by one man in particular. We’ve found that the president likes to tweet in the early a.m., usually so he can go off on his arch-enemy, the media, or try to defend himself against the criticisms that are piling up by the day. Most of these tweets, it’s safe to say, are doing the president more harm than good, by highlighting his mounting insecurities and unhinged thought processes.

So it’s not much of a surprise to find that Trump’s staff may dread his tweets even more than the general public. Politico reports today that Trump’s campaign staffers have revealed the manipulative gymnastics they used to try to keep his public 140-character meltdowns to a minimum. They said that the then-candidate got his information mostly from print, not websites, like his “go-to, The New York Times,” (the one that he claims is “failing”) as well as an almost constant diet of cable news. So, not much reading, as you might expect.


To appease him, staffers use tactics akin to dealing with an unstable dictator, or a cranky toddler:

The in-person touch is also important to keeping Trump from running too hot. One Trump associate said it’s important to show Trump deference and offer him praise and respect, as that will lead him to more often listen. And if Trump becomes obsessed with a grudge, aides need to try and change the subject, friends say. Leaving him alone for several hours can prove damaging, because he consumes too much television and gripes to people outside the White House.


Perhaps Trump’s current staff has adopted these tactics, as the president has not tweeted for a blessed 24 hours, and even then, his last one was some faint praise for the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum Of African American History And Culture after his tour there. But it’s still early.