President Donald Trump attempted to persuade lawmakers that his proposal to pull troops out of Syria was a good idea by citing how many retweets and likes his posts got, according to a Politico profile of Trump social media chief Dan Scavino.
After Trump stunned Republicans by announcing he would pull troops out of Syria last December, Trump tried to convince lawmakers who attempted to dissuade him that the proposal was popular among his Twitter base.
“Get Dan Scavino in here,” Trump yelled out during a meeting with lawmakers earlier this year, according to the report. “Tell them how popular my policy is.”
Scavino proceeded to tell the lawmakers about how much positive engagement the president’s posts about the Syria pullout had gotten on Twitter.
The move ultimately led Defense Secretary James Mattis to quit in a scathing resignation letter.
Trump ultimately backed down and agreed to allow 400 hundred troops to remain in Syria.
Scavino feeds Trump ego-boosting numbers:
Trump biographer Tim O’Brien explained that Scavino, who used to be Trump’s golf caddy, understands how to feed the president’s massive ego.
Trump “has this interest in data, but it’s Trumpian data, which means it’s a little bit of cotton candy and it’s not grounded in reality,” O’Brien told Politico. “Politicians have been using polls for decades to gauge policies, but Twitter followers have nothing at all to do with whether his Syria policy is popular.”
Trump regularly brags about his social media following at official meetings:
“How many people do I have?” Trump reportedly asked Scavino during the Syria meeting, referring to the number of his Twitter followers.
“Trump often asks Scavino to tell visitors how many followers he has on social media — insisting that his aide tally followers across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and other platforms, instead of just Twitter, where former President Barack Obama dwarfs Trump’s follower count of 60 million by more than 45 million,” Politico noted.