Dear White House: If you're listening, please stage an intervention.
President Trump's impulsive social media habit does little to advance his agenda, it pulls both his fans and critics into endless fights and it has created several major headaches for top White House staffers, including Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway.
It's nice that Trump's fan base can communicate with him directly on social media, but there are other methods the president can use that don't also involve him constantly shooting from the hip and creating messes like the one he made Friday morning.
"James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!" he said on Twitter.
James Comey better hope that there are no "tapes" of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2017
It's no small thing for a sitting president to appear to threaten a former FBI director. It's even worse when that same director formerly headed an investigation into the role hostile foreign agents played in the election that swept said president into power.
Ranking Democrats on the House Judiciary and Oversight Committee wasted no time Friday requesting that the White House turn over any possible tapes.
This is the White House. It's the big leagues. Surprisingly enough, there's a great deal of focus on the most powerful office in the world, and Trump's brand of bluster won't go ignored. Hinting at things like secretly recorded tapes will get called out, which leaves his entire staff in the uncomfortable position of figuring out what the hell their boss is talking about.
How does this sort of stuff benefit anyone in this administration?
Put it this way: Trump has little to lose if he stops tweeting, and his staff have a lot to gain. The benefits far outweigh the cost. His staff can go back to focusing its attention on implementing his agenda, and people like Spicer and Conway can stop worrying about defending their boss' seemingly random responses to whatever he sees on his cable news shows.
Also, Trump would be doing his national security team a solid by keeping his real-time reactions to himself, as Naval War College professor and Kremlinologist Tom Nichols explained this week.
"This is the kind of instant leadership portrait that I wouldn't want a foreign nation to have when gaming out a crisis with us. Americans might well appreciate the candor. But I thought Obama did too much thinking out loud in front of cameras. This is far more," he wrote. "It is, from a foreign intel analyst's viewpoint, in some ways probably more valuable than classified memos. It's real and instant."
"It shows how the President reacts under stress. It's something you never want the enemy to know. And yet it's all out there, every day," Nichols added. "It's also a window into how the president processes information — or how he doesn't process info he doesn't like. Solid gold info."
If he won't do it for national security's sake, Trump should still think about throwing his staff a bone. They have been bewildered and overwhelmed with the task of defending his unscripted and unpredictable social media musings. Hell, the administration is still struggling to find a coherent response to the president's claim on March 4 that former President Obama had Trump Tower's "wires tapped" during the 2016 election.
In short: For the love of God, will somebody at the White House please do something about the president's Twitter account already?