Donald Trump’s unprecedented use of Twitter is giving him a bully pulpit like no other — and that’s something that is already causing trouble for his Republican colleagues on Capitol Hill, as well as Democrats.
This week, Trump criticized the House GOP's priorities for attempting to gut an independent ethics body before the new Congress was even sworn in. Trump’s tweets, combined with angry calls from constituents, forced the Republican conference into a U-turn only hours later.
On Wednesday, the president-elect implored Republicans to “be careful” in their efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. Trump said the law was so flawed that it would “fall of its own weight.”
Another Republican strategist, Ford O’Connell, cited Trump’s criticism of House Republicans on the ethics office as emblematic of his approach.
Trump’s tweeting is so effective “because his own voice comes through,” O’Connell said. “It is a direct line to his supporters, a direct line to the media and a direct line to his party members. When it comes to telling Republicans to slow down” — as was the case on the ethics issue — “they are heeding him with a tweet, versus him having to call up 300 members of Congress.”