Last week, some Republican senators decided to go to Russia and spend the Fourth of July meeting with lawmakers there in advance of an upcoming summit between President Trump and Vladimir Putin. It was also reported during Independence Day week, that Trump and Putin will meet without staff present, even though the Senate Intelligence Committee this week agreed with intelligence agencies that Russia tried to swing the election in Trump’s, and the Republicans’, favor. But that's just one of the news bits the internet talked about last week when it wasn't talking about fireworks. Here's everything else that ignited social media over the last seven days.
Seriously, Not Literally
What Happened: What is it called when you try and state one thing, but that very statement illustrates the very opposite? Let’s just agree that it’s called "Donald Trump tweet about tweeting."
What Really Happened: Let’s start with something relatively light—as long as you can ignore the paranoia and gaslighting implicit in the inciting tweet, that is. On Tuesday, President Trump posted the following message on Twitter in a now-deleted (for reasons we'll get to) tweet: "After having written many best selling books, and somewhat priding myself on my ability to write, it should be noted that the Fake News constantly likes to pour over my tweets looking for a mistake. I capitalize certain words only for emphasis, not b/c they should be capitalized!” (Important note: All spelling from the original has been maintained; hang on.)
You might be wondering if this was referring to anything in particular. The answer may be yes, to a certain degree; it wasn’t a capitalization issue per se, but the tweet followed the following kerfuffle over the term "Motor Cycle," as opposed to the (correct) "motorcycle," earlier that day.
As it was, the president’s defensive tweet set alarm bells ringing all across social media, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, that opening sentence caught a lot of people’s attention.
Here's what The Art of the Deal's ghostwriter had to say about it:
And then, there was this one minor mistake that a lot of people noticed.
Don’t worry, though; his supporters had an explanation for this that isn’t the painfully obvious, "He doesn’t know the difference between 'pour' and 'pore'" (which, really, isn’t such a terrible thing unless you expect your president to be literally faultless).
To the surprise of no one, the tweet was deleted and replaced with a corrected one using "pore" within an hour.
The Takeaway: If only there was a good visual metaphor for the way this ended up going…
The EPA Cleans Its Act Up By Losing Its Boss
What Happened: Guess what? We're not going to have Scott Pruitt to kick around anymore!
What Really Happened: Speaking of the Twitter habits of the Most Powerful Man on Earth: On Thursday afternoon, as the US was trying to settle back into the second half of its work week, President Trump dropped a surprise bombshell on the social media platform.
By the time he stepped down, Pruitt had no fewer than 13 federal investigations into his conduct at the agency. Thirteen. Man, no wonder the president finally, finally asked him to resi—I’m sorry, what?
Oh, right. Asking people to resign when they are facing accusations of ethics violations isn’t something this president does. So, what made Pruitt decide to go at this point?
Sure, that could be it. Or maybe it was something someone else (or multiple someone elses) were up to?
No matter how it happened, Pruitt has finally gone. Now it's time for Andrew Wheeler to step in, whoever he is.
The Takeaway: Let’s just take a moment to appreciate this mental image though, shall we?
Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor, Your Demonstrators Ready to Take a Stand
What Happened: What could be more American than protesting injustice? How about protesting injustice by climbing the Statue of Liberty?
What Really Happened: Here's a message for the Americans in the audience: How did you spend your Fourth of July? Because there is someone who probably did it better than you, no matter how many fireworks you might have watched.
Of course, her protest provoked admiration on Twitter.
The next day, as most Americans were recovering from the festivities (or wondering about Scott Pruitt), Therese Okoumou was in court.
The Takeaway: Meanwhile, what did President Trump think of Okoumou's protest?
Almost 3,000 Isn’t a Good Number
What Happened: Everyone who thought that immigration had been fixed when the president signed his executive order a couple of weeks ago got a rude awakening when an update on migrant children separated from their parents arrived.
What Really Happened: While we’re on the subject, let’s stick with US immigration, shall we? Last weekend, folks participated in massive rallies across the country protesting the Trump administration’s immigration policies.
Faced with this response—not to mention, a federal court order that demands that children under 4 are reunited with their parents by July 10, and children between 5 and 17 reunited with their parents by July 26—you might think that authorities were swiftly reducing the number of unaccompanied children in custody. As the head of Health and Human Services, Alex Azar, revealed last week, however, that’s not the case.
Not to worry, though; apparently, it’s definitely not the immigration authorities’ fault.
Then this happened.
The Takeaway: Let’s turn our attentions to the leader of the free world. Mr. President?
What Happened: On the one hand, it’s a good thing that the forecast for a second civil war didn’t come to pass. On the other, we did get some comedy on Twitter out of it.
What Really Happened: We started on something light, so let's end the same way. Alex Jones, the shouty man behind InfoWars and a Sandy Hook truther, took to Twitter at the start of last week to try and incite more fear amongst his fanbase.
On the face of it, it seems fairly ridiculous. But it did result in a hashtag, #SecondCivilWarLetters, in which people imagined just what a modern day civil war would be like. Tongues were, appropriately, in cheek, of course:
Attempts by others to detour the hashtag—or create alternates like #SecondCivilWarLetter or #SecondCivalWarLetters—were soon equally overrun by those unwilling to drop the joke.
The Takeaway: Of course, in reality, a second civil war would go very differently from the way most were imagining…
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