Twitter

Earlier this week Kanye West ended his social media hiatus and hopped on Twitter to share anecdotes about life, existence and the universe. West announced that he is writing a book on philosophy. He also tweeted that he will release two new albums later this spring (he'd been spotted around Jackson Hole, Wyo. over the last few months, where many believe he is working on his new albums with some of hip-hop's finest).

Just who controls the Twitter handle @realDonaldTrump? If you guessed the president, journalist Robert Draper says you might be only partially correct.

Draper's recent New York Times Magazine article profiles White House social media director Dan Scavino — a man Draper estimates helps craft about half of the president's tweets.

As Franklin Delano Roosevelt was to radio with his reassuring "fireside chats" during the Great Depression, as John F. Kennedy was to television with addresses to the nation in moments of crisis, so too is Donald Trump a master of his mass medium of choice.

Trump proves his mastery of it daily. Sometimes hourly.

"There's really no way to understand the administration except through the president's Twitter account," says Jameel Jaffer, director of the Knight First Amendment Center at Columbia University Law School.

The entertainment value would appear to dominate.

The Middle East is a region that is used to diplo-speak. When U.S. officials talk about the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, they usually parse their words carefully. President Trump, though, is changing that, and it is causing confusion.

Last month, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley explained to the world that although the administration decided to recognize Jerusalem as Israel's capital, its final status is still up for negotiation.

Pakistan says it is preparing a response to President Trump, who wrote in a New Year's Day tweet that Islamabad was giving Washington only "lies & deceit" in exchange for billions of dollars in U.S. aid.

In the tweet, Trump accused Pakistan – a key U.S. anti-terrorism ally — of taking American leaders for "fools" and providing terrorists from neighboring Afghanistan "safe haven."

In an apparent reference to the $33 billion in aid that Trump says the U.S. has "foolishly" given Pakistan over the past 15 years, he signed off his tweet: "No more!"

With a generous helping of exclamation points, ALL CAPS and spelling errors, 2017 was the first year of the first Twitter presidency. And in a way, President Trump's most popular tweets of the year tell the story of his presidency. These statements on Twitter gave Americans and the world an unprecedented real-time view of what Trump was thinking, stewing over and watching on cable.

Remember the story about the Twitter employee who (briefly) managed to delete President Trump's account?

At the time, we speculated that it might be "an act of civil disobedience, or maybe just a 'take this job and shove it' moment." But apparently the 11-minute outage of @realDonaldTrump was just a mistake.

President Trump is facing a lawsuit for blocking people from his Twitter account.

This week some First Amendment advocates joined the suit — and they are making a novel argument about the right to communicate with the president in the digital age.

Last week in the Russia investigations: Mueller removes all doubt, the imbroglio apparently costs a man a government job and lots of talk — but no silver bullet — on digital interference.


Mueller time

How many more thunderbolts has Zeus in his quiver? Where might the next one strike? Who does the angry lightning-hurler have in his sights — and who will be spared?

Updated at 2:25 p.m. ET

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