It’s not hard to imagine Donald Trump as Scrooge McDuck, rolling around in his vault — except POTUS #45 would be envisioned, instead of in gold coins, playing in a pile of tweets. Seriously, if Twitter isn’t the man’s favorite thing, it’s at least high on the list of things he enjoys publicly.
The problem with that — or perhaps, the greatest thing about it — is that Trump appears to be an impulse tweeter. He fires off tweets apparently on a whim, without forethought. Now, we’ve all had our typos, and we’ve all blurted out something we didn’t mean to, but what’s even more interesting is that, rather than admit an error, Trump has a tendency to delete those tweets and pretend they never happened.
We aren’t talking about a small number, either. Since taking office about 17 weeks ago, Trump has deleted an average of around 1.5 tweets per week.
The good news is, there are a lot of people keeping watch to make sure the President’s unprecedented tweet-delete pattern doesn’t result in a lost record.
Most of Trump’s deletions are due to spelling or typing errors.
1. Most recently, Trump complained that special counsel was never appointed to look into illegal acts by the Obama administration or the Clinton campaign. While the tweet was amusing in itself for sounding like “Why do they get away with illegal stuff and I don’t?” as a bonus, Trump also spelled ‘counsel’ incorrectly.
With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel appointed!
He later replaced the tweet with a correctly spelled version.
With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special counsel appointed!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 18, 2017
2. It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time Trump has really struggled with the word ‘counsel.’ Earlier this month, he instead used the word ‘council’ when calling for an investigation into leaks of classified information.
Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Council.
He reissued this one with a corrected spelling, too.
Ask Sally Yates, under oath, if she knows how classified information got into the newspapers soon after she explained it to W.H. Counsel.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017
3. In fact, Trump has been ‘honering’ us with misspelled tweets since he took office — on January 21st, the day after his inaugeration, he tweeted
I am honered to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States!
I am honored to serve you, the great American People, as your 45th President of the United States! pic.twitter.com/BVtt7lSrlA
— President Trump (@POTUS) January 21, 2017
Trump had previously had the opportunity to learn the correct spelling of ‘honor,’ since he misspelled it in another tweet (also deleted) in February of 2016, after the GOP debate.
Wow, every poll said I won the debate last night. Great honer!
Of course, the corrected version replaced the original.
Wow, every poll said I won the debate last night. Great honor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2016
4. Some of Trump’s tweet errors can be attributed to simple typos and failure to proofread. These can be identified when a single letter is incorrect, often replaced with a letter that’s is near it on the keyboard. In February, for instance, Trump typed that he ‘playef’ golf.
Playef golf today with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and @TheBig_Easy, Ernie Els, and had a great time. Japan is very well represented!
A corrected version was later posted.
Played golf today with Prime Minister Abe of Japan and @TheBig_Easy, Ernie Els, and had a great time. Japan is very well represented!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 11, 2017
5. Trump tweeted another error in January, which could have been either typo or spelling mistake. Announcing security meetings, he added a ‘u’ to the word ‘among.’
Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Amoung many other things, we will build the wall!
The replacement tweet:
Big day planned on NATIONAL SECURITY tomorrow. Among many other things, we will build the wall!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 25, 2017
6. Third time’s the charm — at least, that’s how many tries it took for Donald Trump to correctly spell ‘hereby.’
Here was Trump’s first attempt at a spelling fix:
Then he finally got it right!
I hereby demand a second investigation, after Schumer, of Pelosi for her close ties to Russia, and lying about it. https://t.co/qCDljfF3wN
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 3, 2017
7. Not all of Trump’s deletions are spelling errors. Sometimes he corrects or adds information. For instance, he deleted one tweet advertising his upcoming interview on Bill O’Reilly’s show and replaced it with a version that included a photo, an admonition to ‘enjoy,’ and his initials.
The deleted version:
Will be interviewed on @oreillyfactor tonight at 8:00 P.M
— President Trump (@POTUS) February 6, 2017
Though a screen shot was unavailable, FactBase also reports that Trump tweeted that the same interview would be before the pre-game show, before apparently learning it would be during the pre-game show and deleting that tweet to replace it with the following.
Interview with @oreillyfactor on Fox Network – 4:00 P.M. (prior to Super Bowl). Enjoy!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 5, 2017
8. Other times, it’s not about adding more information, but more scapegoats. An example of this was when, in February, Trump tweeted a list of news organizations he considered to be ‘fake news.’ Also per FactBase, this tweet replaced one that listed only the New York Times, CNN, and NBC, with the words ‘and many more’ appended to be inclusive. Trump replaced that tweet with another to include CBS and ABC.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2017
9. Other times, Trump does not come back and add more information and just leaves everyone hanging. He tweeted something just last week that no American, regardless of political stance, could possibly argue with — because there was nothing in it to disagree about. It was a single word: “we.”
10. Sometimes Trump seems to just change his mind about how he wants to present what he’s saying. For instance, on April 24, he tweeted the hashtag #congratsPeggy, quoting this NASA tweet.
— NASA (@NASA) April 24, 2017
He deleted it, replacing it with this one, adding a video and tagging NASA and astronaut Peggy Whitson.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 24, 2017
11. Sometimes there’s no clear explanation for just what made Trump take a tweet down. For instance, when Trump tweeted about MS-13 gangs that couldn’t be stopped without a border wall, he deleted the post a short time after.
The Democrats don’t want money from budget going to border wall despite the fact that it will stop drugs and very bad MS 13 gang members.
Did Trump delete the tweet because someone told him MS-13 is typically written with a dash instead of a space, or because people reminded him that he had recently tweeted that he’d already solved this problem?
The weak illegal immigration policies of the Obama Admin. allowed bad MS 13 gangs to form in cities across U.S. We are removing them fast!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2017
Donald Trump picked fights with the Freedom Caucus over his health care reform bill. Unfortunately, he may have forgotten to actually tag one of the members in question.
If @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and Raul_Labrador would get on board we would have both great healthcare and massive tax cuts & reform.
Trump corrected this tweet, as with most of his deleted posts.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
13. However, that didn’t stop him from doing it again.
Where are @RepMarkMeadows, @Jim_Jordan and Raul_Labrador?
He replaced this one too.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 30, 2017
14. Sometimes, maybe it’s political. When Trump tweeted that it had been an honor to host Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas at the White House, it doesn’t seem that he deleted it due to any typos, forgotten spaces, or skipped characters.
— Ottersandsciencenews (@OtterReporting) May 5, 2017
An honor to host President Mahmoud Abbas at the WH today. Hopefully something terrific could come out it between the Palestinians and Israel.
There is a minor grammatical error — presumably the word ‘of’ belongs in the sentence between ‘out’ and ‘it’ — but that may have been for space, since the tweet just fits into Twitter’s character limit as it is. Either way, it seems too small a matter to have merited deleting another tweet.
He also did not replace it with any further reference to the meeting.
15 Though it was before he was in office, and thus before deleting tweets was a potential violation of laws that require a record of White House communications, this particular deletion calls for an extra-special mention, because it sounded like most of the country having a Freudian slip.
China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act.
The corrected tweet:
China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters – rips it out of water and takes it to China in unprecedented act.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 17, 2016
16. While it isn’t quite in the theme of the other tweets, the last on our list is indeed a tweet Trump deleted. Strangely, though, it’s not one he deleted from his feed. Instead, he deleted it from his Twitter banner — first changing the banner to superimpose the text of one of his own tweets over the image, then changing it back.
Though he deleted the tweet from his banner, the version in his feed remains intact (currently).
Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is "no evidence" of collusion w/ Russia and Trump.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 8, 2017
There is good news, though. According to KomoNews, the National Archives ordered the White House back in April to find a way to save every Trump tweet, even if they are deleted. White House officials assured the archivist that they are doing so.
If, somehow, officials fail to keep the record, though, the internet surely will.