There Is a Lot Going on in This Trump Tweet. Let’s Try to Unravel It.

President Donald Trump returned to Twitter this afternoon with a missive jam-packed with information, yet completely opaque in their connections to each other. As you can see, there’s a lot going on here:

Let’s start with the inspiration for this tweet. University of Virginia political scientist Larry Sabato yesterday tweeted a Washington Post story about how the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and Institute, which runs the late president’s library, asked the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee to stop selling coins with Reagan’s face on them as a fundraising strategy. (It’s important to understand that the Reagan folks did not ask the Trump folks to stop selling Reagan coins because they don’t like Trump. From the article, it appears simply to be a copyright issue; only the Reagan Foundation can profit off of the former president’s face.) Sabato then noted the connection between the Reagan Foundation and the Post: someone named Frederick J. Ryan Jr is in a leadership role at both places. 

Trump took this connection and really ran with it. He seems to blame the dustup between his campaign and the Reagan Foundation on the Post, which he claims the Post controls.

In the same sentence, Trump—possibly inspired by the tweet to meditate on people with the Ryan, possibly just confused—next expresses his displeasure with former Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisc.) and Fox News. These two belong together in this sentence because this Ryan is on the board of Fox, the parent company of Fox News.

Finally, Trump concludes that he will win reelection 100 days from now because the polls, including the ones from Fox News, are fake. 

Mystery solved.

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This is no time to come up short. It's time to fight like hell, as our namesake would tell us to do, for a democracy where minority rule cannot impose an extreme agenda, where facts matter, and where accountability has a chance at the polls and in the press. If you value our reporting and you can right now, please help us dig out of the $100,000 hole we're starting our new budgeting cycle in with an always-needed and always-appreciated donation today.

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