- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 17, 2018

The man has 52 million followers and an incredible knack for transforming complex issues into compelling, spirited missives. Yes, we are talking President Trump, who remains victorious in his battle to get the truth before the American public. And now we have definitive numbers about the power of the tweeter-in-chief.

“President Trump’s unprecedented use of the social media platform Twitter as one of his primary means of presidential communication appears to be effective from a big-picture perspective. Over three-quarters of Americans say they see, read or hear about Trump’s tweets a lot or a fair amount,” writes Frank Newport, director of the Gallup poll.

Indeed, 76 percent of Americans follow Mr. Trump’s strategic tweets, meant to bypass the media and take his message directly to the public. But an interesting phenomenon is at work. The pollster found that only a quarter of the respondents actually have a personal Twitter account; only 8 percent follow Mr. Trump and only 4 percent read all or most of his tweets.

“His tweets do not appear to follow a direct pathway to most Americans by virtue of their subscribing to his Twitter feed. Instead, it appears that Trump’s tweets reach Americans because news and social media gatekeepers propagate, rebroadcast and incorporate them into news and social media streams,” says Mr. Newport. “In some ways, then, Twitter functions for Trump much like an old-fashioned press release or press conference statement. Few Americans see or read his tweets directly, but many ultimately hear about them via media coverage or other means.”

Ironically, Democrats are more Trump tweet-obsessed than Republicans. “Democrats are significantly more likely than Republicans to say they see, read or hear a lot about Trump’s tweets — 64 percent vs. 50 percent, respectively,” Mr. Newport observes.

CIA DIRECTOR GINA HASPEL, IN ELEGANT SUMMATION

“She is a person of high integrity with valuable frontline and executive experience as a career intelligence officer. Her confirmation represents the best we have to offer as a country. On behalf of the Intelligence Community, we salute Director Haspel, a trailblazer who today becomes the first woman to lead the CIA,” notes Daniel Coats, director of national intelligence.

“Senate votes 54-45 to confirm the nomination of Gina Haspel as CIA Director 3:58 pm/ET. A victory for Pres Trump, completing shakeup of his national security team,” CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller tweeted exactly 60 seconds after the confirmation.

10 MILLON IMMIGRANTS: WHITE HOUSE REALITY CHECK

Media treatment of immigration is often fraught with melodrama, Trump-bashing and confusion. That is a given. It’s helpful, however, to have numbers to point the way to truth.

“In light of recent news coverage of the influx of border-crossers overwhelming the U.S. asylum system and immigration courts, some numerical context is necessary to understand just how expansive humanitarian-based immigration to the United States really is,” White House officials said in a comprehensive statement.

“From Fiscal Year 2008 to Fiscal Year 2017, the U.S. granted lawful permanent resident status to 1,761,927 migrants for humanitarian reasons through these various programs — a population of foreign nationals that is larger than the entire population of Philadelphia. This number does not include the nearly half a million (442,071) migrants who became beneficiaries of temporary protected status and deferred enforced departure for humanitarian reasons,” the White House said, noting that beneficiaries have hailed from El Salvador, Guinea, Haiti, Honduras, Liberia, Nepal, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

The final tally, however, tops 10 million.

“Humanitarian-based immigration accounted for one-sixth of all permanent immigration to the U.S. in the past decade. But these figures do not include the millions more predominantly low-skilled immigrants the U.S. has accepted during this time. In total, the U.S. has permanently resettled over 10 million immigrants (10,743,014) since 2008 — this includes nearly half a million foreign nationals (478,325) who were admitted as visa lottery winners, and over 7 million foreign nationals (7,756,985) who were admitted on the basis of family ties,” the statement said.

A GOOD CAUSE, 1730-STYLE

Let us journey to the verdant Virginia countryside to peek at a fundraiser who provides much needed funds for local students. Reagan historian and best-selling author Craig Shirley will host a gracious event Saturday in a grand, Georgia-style manor home that was built in 1730.

Local restaurants, wineries and ale-makers have donated fine goodies for the event, which benefits Rappahannock Community College; these folks have raised about $800,000 so far for their cause, and plan to continue. Ladies, meanwhile, are encouraged to wear hats of the fabulous variety in a nod to the Preakness. And of course, there’s a little politics thrown in.

“We are also auctioning off signed books by Newt Gingrich, Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, John Meacham and some guy named Craig Shirley,” Mr. Shirley advises Inside the Beltway.

He is the author of four significant books on Ronald Reagan and his presidency, along with “December 1941” and “Citizen Newt: The Making of a Reagan Conservative.”

WEEKEND REAL ESTATE

For sale: Grand Southern Victorian residence, built in 1898 on three acres in Chester, South Carolina. Six bedrooms, six baths, outsized foyer, formal living and dining rooms, library, sunroom, sitting rooms; 5,600 square feet. Chef’s kitchen, original elegant woodworking, built-ins and flooring; two fireplaces. Sitting porch, balconies, in-ground pool, patio, gazebo, formal gardens, two-car garage. Priced at $485,000 through NewChesterRealty.com; find the home here

POLL DU JOUR

55 percent of U.S. voters are “very motivated” to vote in the 2018 midterms; 61 percent of Republicans. 41 percent of independents and 62 percent of Democrats agree.

21 percent are “somewhat motivated” to vote; 23 percent of Republicans, 23 percent of independents and 18 percent of Democrats agree.

11 percent are unsure; 7 percent of Republicans, 18 percent of independents and 9 percent of Democrats agree.

8 percent are “not too motivated”; 6 percent of Republicans, 11 percent of independents and 8 percent of Democrats agree.

4 percent are “not motivated at all”; 3 percent of Republicans, 7 percent of independents and 3 percent of Democrats agree.

Source: A Morning Consult/Politico poll of 1,993 registered U.S. voters conducted May 10-14.

• Kindly follow Jennifer Harper on Twitter @HarperBulletin


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