CNN’s Lemon Jokes Someone Should ‘Hire That Person’ Who Shut Down Trump’s Twitter Account

CNN Tonight host Don Lemon reacted to the Thursday night kerfuffle over a departing Twitter employee briefly deactivating President Trump’s Twitter account by joking that someone should “hire that person.” 

He also suggested that the President shouldn’t be using his Twitter account as his chief means of communication, but neglected the reality that most public officials have accounts that could be susceptible to fake tweets or shutdowns.

 

 

In the first of two teases for a brief discussion on the topic, Lemon quipped: 

Stick around everyone, when we come back with Russian revelations piling up and President Trump is speaking out tonight about Hillary Clinton. Plus who took President Trump's Twitter account offline for 11 minutes and how did they do it? Hire that person.

When it came time for the short segment at the 11:29 p.m. Eastern mark, Lemon asked viewers to “imagine” a world in which Trump is “without his Twitter account,” which, of course, “actually happened for several minutes tonight and for a pretty surprising reason.”

“We almost had a major crisis tonight, President Trump's Twitter account went down, Twitter recently said his account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee, but after investigating, the incident they found that it had done by an employee of his last day or her last day,” Lemon added in speaking to Reliable Sources host Brian Stelter.

To his credit, Stelter struck a more serious tone, stating that you could see it as “hilarious” and “silly, juvenile behavior,” but upon further examination, it’s a big deal. Here’s more from Stelter:

On another level that person could have potentially posted fake tweets, could have posted threatening comments, could have somehow disable the account more permanently. That is troubling that any random employee at a technology company had the ability to mess with your account and never mind the President's account. So, Don, I think Twitter’s going to have some explaining to do.

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Lemon responded that Thursday night bolstered “the idea that we should not be, Twitter should not be serious policy tool, that any one — especially someone who is running the free world should be using” but instead “directly from the White House” in what one could presume are press releases or speeches.

“I think you’re dreaming a little bit about that,” admitted Stelter.

At no point did Lemon note that most public officials (local, state, and federal) have Twitter accounts and they too could fall victim to nefarious behavior of an employee who may happen to disagree with their views.

For the record, Barack Obama had a personal account. How would Lemon have felt if someone did that to his account and tweeted fake and incendiary things. He uses it far less than Trump, but it still doesn’t absolve it from being a serious matter.

Washington Post assistant editor David Swerdlick closed out the half-segment, noting that “[t]here is a humorous underside to this but when you really look at it, it is very serious.” 

“Twitter is a private service, they have the right if they feel the President or anybody else violates their term of service to shut his account down. Someone there had access but it should not be a random employee who’s able to get in there on their last day. I think the fact that it causes a stir is because the President, one, has these 40 million plus followers and it is his primary tool of communication. People are hanging on his every word,” he stated.

Here’s the relevant transcript from November 2's CNN Tonight with Don Lemon:

CNN Tonight with Don Lemon
November 2, 2017
11:13 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

DON LEMON: Alright. Stick around everyone, when we come back with Russian revelations piling up and President Trump is speaking out tonight about Hillary Clinton. Plus who took President Trump's Twitter account offline for 11 minutes and how did they do it? Hire that person.

(....)

11:24 p.m. Eastern [TEASE]

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Trump’s Twitter Shutdown]

LEMON: When we come back, the President's personal Twitter account deactivated for over ten minutes today. What Twitter says happen plus denial and mistruths at the White House press briefings? We are keeping tabs on how Sarah Sanders is spinning the truth.

(....)

11:29 p.m. Eastern

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Trump’s Twitter Shutdown]

LEMON: I want you to imagine this. President Trump without his Twitter account. It actually happened for several minutes tonight and for a pretty surprising reason, I want to bring in now CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter, CNN political commentator David Swerdlick, and Annie KarniWhite House reporter for Politico. So Brian, can we get this out of the way. We almost had a major crisis tonight, President Trump's Twitter account went down, Twitter recently said his account was inadvertently deactivated due to human error by a Twitter employee, but after investigating, the incident they found that it had done by an employee of his last day or her last day. 

[ON-SCREEN HEADLINE: Breaking News; Twitter: Employee Briefly Shut Down Trump’s Account on Last Day of Work]

BRIAN STELTER: It’s both hilarious and — 

LEMON: Is it an ax to grind?

BRIAN STELTER: — also serious, right? It is seem like a customer service employee who want to torch the President on his way out. On one level, that’s just silly, juvenile behavior. On another level that person could have potentially posted fake tweets, could have posted threatening comments, could have somehow disable the account more permanently. That is troubling that any random employee at a technology company had the ability to mess with your account and never mind the President's account. So, Don, I think Twitter’s going to have some explaining to do. 

LEMON: Yes, but isn’t it — doesn’t that reinforce the idea that we should not be, Twitter should not be serious policy tool, that any one — especially someone who is running the free world should be using. It should be coming directly from the White House. 

STELTER: I think you’re dreaming a little bit about that. 

LEMON: I am just saying. That is one added filter and one other level that something could go wrong. 

STELTER: Right. That’s definitely true about Twitter.

LEMON: Okay, so, David, what does it say about America in 2017 that the President's Twitter feed is going down for 11 minutes cause — caused such a stir? 

DAVID SWERDLICK: Yeah, I mean, I agree of what Brian said, right? There is a humorous underside to this but when you really look at it, it is very serious. Twitter is a private service, they have the right if they feel the President or anybody else violates their term of service to shut his account down. Someone there had access but it should not be a random employee who’s able to get in there on their last day. I think the fact that it causes a stir is because the President, one, has these 40 million plus followers and it is his primary tool of communication. People are hanging on his every word because they feel like they get the raw, unvarnished President Trump even if it offends or even if it causes controversies in many instances rather than the scripted, you know, press release President Trump and that is why people over the last year or two years or more have become accustomed just hanging on exactly what his next tweet will be. 


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