Capitol Alert

Donald Trump tweets not helpful, says Dianne Feinstein

U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein talks with the editorial board at The Sacramento Bee on March 30, 2016.
U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein talks with the editorial board at The Sacramento Bee on March 30, 2016.

Tear down these tweets, Mr. President-elect.

That was California Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s message for President-elect Donald Trump, a social media-savvy public figure whose election win does not seem to have blunted his love for the medium.

“I don’t think it’s helpful if he keeps using Twitter,” Feinstein said during a Monday interview with KQED that also covered topics like Trump’s approach to immigration and healthcare. “I don’t think it’s helpful every time he’s offended by something, he tweets.”

Trump regularly took to Twitter to belittle opponents during the campaign, once sending an early morning missive urging America to “check out” a critic’s alleged sex tape. He has continued tapping out messages to his 15.8 million followers since winning the presidency, repeatedly lambasting the “failing New York Times,” denouncing “professional protesters” who rallied in several cities after his win and demanding that the cast of the “highly overrated” Broadway hit “Hamilton” apologize after a cast member urged Vice President-Elect Mike Pence “to work on behalf of all of us.”

“Why is it necessary for the president to get into that?” Feinstein asked of the Hamilton backlash. “Why doesn’t he tweet some things that bring people together, that are helpful?”

Polling suggests that the American public sides with Feinstein. A Quinnipiac survey found that a majority of voters want Trump to delete his account.

Both Feinstein and outgoing California Sen. Barbara Boxer’s offices maintain Twitter accounts, which they have used in recent days to defend the Affordable Care Act or promote retiring the Electoral College. Senator-Elect Kamala Harris’s account is also quite active, issuing more than 100 tweets since voters promoted Harris on Election Day.

Unlike Trump, though, Feinstein and Harris do not generally write their own tweets, though spokespeople said they offer input to staff members. Boxer dictates tweets to staff, who put them out after the chance to offer some feedback.

Jeremy B. White: 916-326-5543, @CapitolAlert