Trump Gripes the Presidency Is a ‘Loser’ Costing Him Money as It Is Revealed Aides Tweet for Him

Like his hair, President Donald Trump‘s tweets are an integral part of his White House identity.

But during a revealing in-person interview with New York Times reporters, Trump gave out printed handouts of his tweets at the same time a staffer published them on his account — proving the president isn’t the only one who hits his blue “Tweet” button.

“Fresh from a meeting on trade with China’s vice premier, Mr. Trump seemed relaxed and confident as he sought to make his case,” wrote Times reporters Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman, “distributing handouts including, at one point, printed copies of two tweets sent out in his name even as he was speaking with his visitors.”

Haberman told PEOPLE that the tweets on the printouts were the ones published on Thursday at around 5 p.m. Trump also gave the reporters a photocopy of the picture featured in the tweets.

Just concluded a great meeting with my Intel team in the Oval Office who told me that what they said on Tuesday at the Senate Hearing was mischaracterized by the media – and we are very much in agreement on Iran, ISIS, North Korea, etc. Their testimony was distorted press….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019

….I would suggest you read the COMPLETE testimony from Tuesday. A false narrative is so bad for our Country. I value our intelligence community. Happily, we had a very good meeting, and we are all on the same page!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 31, 2019

In the wide-ranging interview, published on Tuesday, Trump talked about his plan to declare a national emergency in order to build his border wall, since he believes negotiations with Congress are a “waste of time.” He also dismissed insinuations that he’s done anything wrong, even as the Russia investigation closes in on more of his associates, per the outlet.

While the reporters focused on these heavy topics, the president’s decision to pass out Twitter handouts also stood out to them. Why? It’s indicative of how he operates in the White House, the reporters said. Trump has a history of using Twitter to name-call his enemies, declare new policy (like the transgender ban in the military) and threaten nuclear war with North Korea.

The Times report isn’t the first one to note that Trump has staffers who assist with presidential tweets.

Ex-staffer Cliff Sims’ new book, Team of Vipers, reveals that, in the early days of the White House, longtime aide Dan Scavino was the only person besides the president “who always maintained access to the @readlDonaldTrump Twitter account.” (Savino’s role as presidential tweeter was so impressive that he was profiled by The New York Times Magazine in April 2018).

“ fire off tweets from the residence at all hours and usually without any advance notice to staff,” Sims writes. “During the day, he would call Dan into the Oval to dictate tweets, complete with punctuation instructions — dash, dash, ‘sad,’ exclamation point — and his own unique way of capitalizing seemingly random words for emphasis.”

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He continues: “Early on, there wasn’t an official channel to submit recommended tweets, but Dan would come in with a printout of various options. Trump would approve them, disapprove them, or make tweaks, but you can rest assured that he wasn’t letting anything go out without his sign-off.

“In that regard, he was like a publisher, fiercely protective of his brand and loyal to his audience — he only wanted to put out things they’d want to read.”

Sims, who was on the communications team as a special assistant to Trump until 2018 after working on Trump’s campaign, also became “adept” at copying Trump’s voice.

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“Policy and communications aides would bring their topics to me and I’d craft the most Trumpian tweet I could,” he writes, “then submit it for approval, with a pretty good success rate.”

While Sims defends Trump in his book, he is also critical of the president and the way the White House operates. In response, the president took to his favorite social media platform to denounce Team of Vipers. But it’s unlikely that Trump read Sims’ book in full because, as the Times report explains, staffers put together summaries of books written by ex-staffers for him to read.

“I have somebody — boom boom, they give me the quotes,” the president told the Times reporters.

In another twist, Trump told the reporters that being president is not lucrative. He described the job as a “loser” financially, according to the Times.

“I lost massive amounts of money doing this job,” Trump said, per the outlet. “This is not the money. This is one of the great losers of all time. You know, fortunately, I don’t need money. This is one of the great losers of all time. But they’ll say that somebody from some country stayed at a hotel. And I’ll say, ‘Yeah.’ But I lose, I mean, the numbers are incredible.”

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