President-elect Donald Trump plans to keep using his own personal Twitter account after he assumes office, opting out of using the @POTUS account established by President Barack Obama. Trump maintains that he values his tweets as a way to counter reporting by the press that he disagrees with.
On Jan. 15, Trump disclosed in an interview with The Sunday Times that he would continue using his personal social media account while in the Oval Office. The president-elect asserted that he already had a social media presence of 46 million followers when factoring in his Twitter, Facebook and Instagram accounts.
"When you think that you're 46 million there, I'd rather just let that build up and just keep it @realDonaldTrump, it's working," Trump said, according to The Daily Caller.
The president-elect asserted that he had initially planned on cutting back on his Twitter output but continues to issue statements through the social media platform to counter what he believes to be unfair media coverage.
"I thought I'd do less of it, but I'm covered so dishonestly by the press -- so dishonestly," Trump continued.
Trump added that Twitter had proven to be a useful tool for him to shape the media cycle, noting that the daily news cycle can be influenced by tweets that he fires off in the morning.
"I can go bing bing bing … and [the news] put it on and as soon as I tweet it out -- this morning on television, Fox -- 'Donald Trump, we have breaking news,'" Trump concluded.
The @POTUS account was established by Obama in 2015. It currently draws 13.5 million, while Trump's personal account has 20 million followers. Meanwhile, Obama's personal Twitter account, which he established in March 2007, currently has over 80 million followers.
Trump's daily Twitter usage has drawn controversy, with even foreign powers calling on the president-elect to cut back on his social media output.
On Jan. 5, the Chinese state-run website Xinhua published an editorial criticizing Trump for his tweets.
"The obsession with 'Twitter diplomacy' is undesirable," the Chinese website stated, according to CNN. "It is … commonly accepted that diplomacy is not a child's game -- and even less is it business dealing … Twitter should not be a tool for foreign diplomacy."
The same day, incoming White House press secretary Sean Spicer suggested during a panel discussion at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics that Trump's Twitter habit was a strategic tool to further his political goals.
"I think there's this misconception, or there's this implication, that he's just randomly tweeting," Spicer said, according to The Washington Post. "He knows exactly where he wants to end up on a particular subject ... He understands the strategic value in certain actions to achieve a goal."