Listen: Donald Trump, Twitter, Kim Kim Jong Un discussed on Monocle 24: The Globalist
"Their Israeli for better unusually for worse no more enthusiastic proponent of twitter diplomacy in US President Donald Trump joining us now to dissect a representative few of trump's interestingly punctuated blurts. Is Brian Close political scientist. I author and Washington Post columnist by way of imbuing trump's tweets with a finesse. The ill deserve. They are read by foreign desk producer. You'll engulf on any and all grammatical infelicitous of the fault of the author not the narrator September fifteenth two thousand nineteen mystery missiles target. Saudi oilfields Saudi Arabia. Oil Supply was attacked. There's reason to believe that we know the culprit are locked and loaded depending on verification but are waiting to hear from the kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack and under what terms we would proceed. This is amazing tweet because this is the second time that Donald Trump has issues locked and loaded. The first was when he was saying that he was about to attack North Korea. And it just shows you know the twitter diplomacy made on the fly where nobody believes what trump obsess anymore. You know that He. He is a saying who's behind the attack. People are questioning that and then you have. This claim that he's about to attack them which people again are questioning with good reason that his twitter threats are increasingly erratic and also unfounded and never backed up October. First two thousand seventeen reaching out to Kim Kim Jong UN being nasty Rotman hasn't worked in twenty five years. Why would it work now? Clinton failed. Bush failed and Obama failed. I won't fail. I love this tweet. For several reasons I is that he's has been nice to rocket man hasn't worked in twenty five years. Kim Jung took office in two thousand eleven. So penalized him when he was a child probably wasn't going to be a very fruitful way of conducting diplomacy anyway Clinton and Bush of course did not even deal with Kim Jong into any point and then the second layer of this of course is saying that being nice to him hasn't worked it won't work now. Well trump said that he was in love with Kim Jong Hoon after this tweet so I would classify that as being nice and then finally. I won't fail well. I mean what's happened. Since trump's multiple summits with Kim Jong is that Kim has gotten a massive boost international national profile and legitimacy by meeting with President without any preconditions and has simaltaneously ramped up the missile program and the nuclear capability which is the only point of involving involving Kim Jong UN and diplomacy so there are many many problems that tweets but my favorite one is the idea that trying to have diplomatic relations with a three year. Old Somehow didn't work. July thirtieth two thousand nineteen trade wars are good apparently and easy to win. China is doing very badly worst year in twenty seven was supposed supposed to start buying our agricultural product now no signs that they are doing so that is the problem with China they just don't come through. Our economy has become much much larger than the Chinese economy is last three years. Where do you start with the stuff of it? The idea that the US economy has eclipsed the Chinese economy in the last three years because because of trump is an amazing claim. And then the other thing. That's sort of unspoken this tweet but if you know trump's tweets really jumps out to you is the number of times that he contradicts himself so he constantly says things on twitter like China has just announced that they are going to be buying massive amounts of soybean from a great Patriot farmers and then a week or two who later. He has this tweet where he says. Effectively they're not actually doing it and then he'll come back and make the same claim again and so it's this sort of whiplash that twitter allows him to get away with because his base. Here's this they think okay China's now going to buy some soybeans well. The people in his twitter base are not the people who are actually selling soybeans. So they don't know if it's happened and they believe him and he can get away with it and this is where I think. Twitter diplomacy also bleeds into domestic politics. Where you end up having a lack lack of accountability because you can just shoot off a claim everybody moves on and then it's like it never happened when it's false? I think that the trade war stuff though is also indicative of how miscalculation can be very dangerous because China is actually reading these tweets trying to make not just sense of them but make policy based on them and they have no idea what it means. I mean it's riddled with Typos and grammatical errors. And then you know. They're they're scratching their their chins sort of saying will two weeks ago. He seemed to be happy with President. Then she now he's not and this causes again. Miscalculation which is I think the name of the game for twitter diplomacy July eighth two thousand nineteen some thoughts on Brexit and on the. UK's outgoing going. I'm blessed to the. US have been very critical about the way the UK and Prime Minister Theresa May Handle Brexit. What a mess? She and her representatives have created. I told her how it should be done but she decided to go another way. I didn't know the ambassador but he's not liked or well within the US we will no longer deal with him. The good news for the wonderful United Kingdom is that they will soon have a new prime minister. While I thoroughly enjoyed the magnificent state visit last month it was the queen who I was most impressed with so this tweet I think unveil some of the other problems with twitter when it comes to diplomacy and that is that statements of national importance is can be made without vetting. You know if there was actually communicate from the White House in the past this would have gone through a series of different advisors it would have been checked and the first instance in which trump trump tweeted about theresa. May He misspelled her name and accidentally tagged somebody with I believe one hundred sixty twitter followers. So you know. It's not exactly a crack team at the White House when it comes comes to twitter but then beyond this when he says she didn't go the way that I said what he's actually talking about according to the UK government is his suggestions that she sued the the European European Union as a way to solve brexit which his maybe it's ludicrous it's idiocy it's not going to work and then you have sort of the basic ignorance that comes out of these types of tweets. Were win actually. Trump arrives in the UK and gets pressed on various tweets though ask him questions and the followup about say is the NHS on the table the National Health Service on table in trade negotiations and he doesn't know what it is and this is again. You know this is the problem when you can make a statement you interfere in the affairs or politics of an allied country country and have no idea what. You're talking about October sixteenth two thousand eighteen taking Saudi Arabia's word for it just spoke with the Grand Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish consulate. He was with Secretary of State. Mike Pompeo during the call and told me that he has already started and will rapidly. Expand fanned a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly. This is of course about Jamal Kashogi who's a fellow columnists the Washington Post just before he was murdered and dismembered by the Saudi government which then led to a series of attempted cover ups by the Saudi government's with trump's help where he tried to sweep it under the rug. And and say you know they don't know anything about it and provide political cover to the Saudis and I think you know. This is the dark side of twitter where you can very quickly spread. What is clearly misinformation in pursuit of diplomatic relationship where trump clearly values for a variety of reasons whether it's strategic reasons or his financial conflicts of interest with the Saudi Kingdom? And you know a different president a pre twitter era first off would not have made the statement and secondly would have waited till the facts came out before staking the credibility of the White House on something something that was going to be very quickly debunked. I mean one of the famous examples during the Kashogi investigation was the idea that he had left the consulate. When the Saudis put a body double in clothes it was similar to Shoji's but forgot to change his shoes I mean it was amateur hour and for the US president in the White House to be affiliated with it because of such sporadic in a quick quick tweets was just embarrassing for the credibility of the United States August? Twenty of two thousand nine hundred an attempt at humor accompanied by a mockup of a trump trump casino on the Tundra. I promise not to do this degree land so this is a a photo shopped photo of trump property a trump hotel in greenland amongst a sort of sparse looking fishing village. And I think this is well is one of those moments where you have trump make a comment in the sort of real oh world right off off of cyberspace where he says. Maybe we'll buy greenland and then it sparks. This whole controversy of how Silva's claim is this proposal etc and and then he tries to make light of it as though it was a joke to begin with on twitter. But I think that this is also important in highlighting the risks of twitter in terms of photoshop or doctored images and trump did this with greenland as joke and there was obviously a joke. But there's other times where he's done and hasn't been a joke so he has sent tweets where they have basically doctored video video of Jim Acosta the CNN reporter who was temporarily banned from the White House looking more aggressive than he was because they speed it up his arm movement yeah right and this went throughout the conservative twitter sphere. Very very quickly. You can imagine something like that happening in diplomacy to. That's the big risk is that as deep technology for example fake videos that look very convincing or photo shopped images or any sort of disinformation campaign actually gets promoted by governments and by presidents presidents. That's where we answered very very dangerous territory and this type of stuff. I mean again when you think about the combination of Dr Video doctored images all being promoted by trump trump with no regard for the facts and the lack of credibility that he already has how much more dangerous it gets when you try to make sense of as a foreign diplomat Brian. Close thank you."