President Trump broke several personal records for Twitter usage Friday with a barrage of social media activity amid crises caused by the coronavirus and killing of George Floyd.
Mr. Trump’s account on Twitter, the president’s preferred social media service, posted on the platform a total of 200 times within 24 hours, shattering his previous record of 142.
Factba.se, a website that tracks the president’s tweets, said his account also set a new record for most posts in a single week — 468 — and the most within an hour — 74.
Most of the content Mr. Trump’s account put out on Twitter during the day were tweets originally posted by another user and then shared, or retweeted, by the president’s profile. Roughly eight-out-of-ten of the 200 tweets were first posted by a different account and then retweeted by Mr. Trump’s.
Among the more eye-catching tweets were attacks directed at Muriel Bowser, the Democratic mayor of Washington, D.C., and a post containing a video of conservative activist Candace Owens calling Floyd “not a good man.” Mr. Trump also repeatedly touted the country’s latest unemployment figures and reiterated his opposition to protesting the American flag, tweeting “NO KNEELING.”
The president’s daylong tweet-storm notably unfolded as he comes under fire on two fronts as concerns over the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic and Floyd’s death risk costing him a second term roughly five months until November’s election. Millions of Americans have lost jobs since the pandemic began to significantly impact the nation’s economy in March, and Floyd’s racially charged killing and the administration’s actions in its aftermath have recently started to cost the president the support of some fellow Republicans. Indeed, polling site FiveThirtyEight currently ranks Mr. Trump’s disapproval rating at its lowest in more than six months.
Mr. Trump’s record-setting tweet wave started at 1:21 a.m. in a post celebrating the return of Michael White, a U.S. Navy veteran freed from Iran after almost two years in custody. It then paused while the president presumably slept before resuming shortly after 7:30 a.m. when his account began to unleash a proverbial firehose of tweets and retweets.
The majority of the day’s activity happened during 90 minutes between 7:31 a.m. and 9:01 a.m., when Mr. Trump’s account on Twitter posted content more than 130 times. The vast majority of those were retweets, and nearly all of those were tweets of postings originally from the accounts of various Republican senators.
Mr. Trump’s activity on Twitter diminished during the afternoon, albeit not without him continuing to make news throughout the day as a result of his posts on the platform.
He repeatedly referred to Ms. Bowser as “incompetent” for taking issue with his administration’s recent deployment of U.S. troops to D.C. in response to riots that erupted in the nation’s capital Floyd’s death May 25 in police custody in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and in the evening he shared a video of Ms. Owens attacking Floyd and saying it “sickens” her to see him made into a martyr.
The president also accused Twitter, from his Twitter account, of illegally censoring his reelection campaign. Jack Dorsey, Twitter’s chief executive officer, subsequently responded from his own account, tweeting in part: “Not true and not illegal.”
Mr. Trump’s previous record for most tweets in a day was set in January during the Senate impeachment trial that risked ending his presidency early but resulted in his acquittal.
The president had only tweeted or retweeted a handful of times Saturday as of early evening.