- The Washington Times - Friday, November 20, 2015

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump touted his social media acumen Friday, saying he’s well-versed in the power of Twitter and Facebook and that someone has said he’s “the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters.”

“I know a lot about Twitter and Facebook,” Mr. Trump said at a town-hall-style event in South Carolina. “Somebody said I’m the Ernest Hemingway of 140 characters. Can you believe it?”

Mr. Trump said he mostly does his own tweeting, but that he’ll dictate at times.

“I’ve got almost 5 million people and [will] soon have way over 5 million people because we picked up, I think last week, over 100,000 people in a short period of time, and we’re picking up a lot and it’s fun,” he said.

“And you know, it’s like owning the New York Times without the losses — it’s tremendous,” he said. “It gives you a lot of power.”

“If somebody says something badly about you, in the old days … I’d go ‘I’m gonna get that guy,’” he said. “But now I just say, oh, said something bad — bing bing bing — I say [he’s] really bad about that. … It’s amazing.”

Mr. Trump had been asked how to fight the Islamic State terrorist group on social media and whether Facebook and Twitter were doing enough.

“But what has happened is ISIS — and Facebook, incredible, too, we’re doing great on Facebook, almost 5 million on Facebook — but I will say that ISIS has really done incredibly well with the whole social media thing,” he said. “I mean, beyond anybody, probably ever. And it was our baby. I mean, we’re the ones that developed it and founded it and birthed it. We’re the ones that did it.”

“And ISIS is the one that has really taken it and they brought it to a new level,” he said. “Now, again, knock out their wealth, knock out their fields, knock out the oil, etcetera, etcetera. Stop the banking, which nobody but me will know how to do. I’m the king of banking. Oh, am I good at banking. Do I know how to deal with banks —aye yai yai.”

Mr. Trump says he loves the question because he understands social media.

“I understand social media, I understand Twitter, I understand the power of Twitter, I understand the power of Facebook maybe better than almost anybody, based on my results, right?” he said.

Mr. Trump said the press was talking about “this dirty rotten bum” suspected of orchestrating the Paris attacks “with a big dirty hat on, with filthy clothing — that was when he took a good picture, that was the picture he gave out, and they’re calling him the mastermind, right?”

“The mastermind — we’re looking for the mastermind. The mastermind,” he said. “He’s not a mastermind. He’s probably got an IQ of 90 — 70, 80, 90. He’s not a mastermind.”

“I tweeted over the last couple of days — don’t call these guys masterminds anymore,” Mr. Trump said. “Don’t call them masterminds … and you know what? Today I didn’t see the mastermind anywhere — it’s amazing, the power of this stuff. But I didn’t see it.”

“Call ‘em thugs, call ‘em losers. I said, call ‘em losers, call ‘em whatever you want, but don’t call ‘em glamorous terms. They’re not glamorous people,” he said. “What is a mastermind about sending a few stupid people into various places in Paris going ‘Bang. Bang. Bang. Boom. Boom?’ “

• David Sherfinski can be reached at dsherfinski@washingtontimes.com.

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