President Donald Trump asserted on social media that his Twitter habit was a nifty way to reach his supporters without any media filter. The president drew heavy criticism for his tweets following the June 3 London terror attack.
On June 6, Trump took to social media to tout his online presence, asserting that critics of his prodigious Twitter output were upset that he had found a way to circumvent the press, the Washington Examiner reports.
"The FAKE MSM is working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media," Trump tweeted out. "They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out."
The president added: "Sorry folks, but if I would have relied on the Fake News of CNN, NBC, ABC, CBS, [Washington Post] or [The New York Times], I would have had ZERO chance at winning [The White House]."
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From June 4-5, Trump fired off a series of controversial tweets in the wake of the London terror attack. The president blasted London Mayor Sadiq Khan, accusing him of having a relaxed reaction to the attack and quoting him stating "no reason to be alarmed."
Khan was referring to the increased police presence in London and had urged his constituents to remain vigilant. Trump's tweet drew widespread condemnation among U.K. lawmakers. The London mayor told the Associated Press that he "really couldn't be bothered about what Donald Trump tweets."
Trump also pointed to the London attack as vindication of his executive order on immigration, which is currently facing a series of hurdles in court.
"People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!" Trump tweeted out.
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Legal experts were quick to point out that Trump's tweet undercut the Justice Department's defense in court, which claimed that the executive order was not a discriminatory travel ban.
"It makes it harder to argue this is not a Muslim ban, and more importantly, it makes it harder to argue that the president's statements should be irrelevant," professor Stephen Vladeck of the University of Texas told TIME.
Despite the backlash, the Trump's latest tweets signal that he has no intention of cutting back on his social media presence.
While the president's Twitter account has frequently drawn controversy, it undoubtedly served him well during the 2016 election. As early as October 2015, observers noted Trump's ability to communicate with his supporters on social media.
"He's used social media to replace the traditional apparatus of a political campaign," GOP campaign consultant Zac Moffatt of Targeted Victory told The New York Times. "Trump is living on this medium."
In December 2016, a Morning Consult/Politico poll found that 56 percent of registered voters believed Trump tweeted too much -- 23 percent of respondents said that Trump's social media habit was a good thing, while 49 percent said it was detrimental, according to Morning Consult.