Trump aides block him from Twitter to protect his campaign — report
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Trump aides block him from Twitter to protect his campaign — report

Tweets drafted, screened by advisers as GOP candidate — described as anxious, restless on closing days of race — seeks to stay ‘on message’

Donald Trump after addressing supporters at Freedom Hill Amphitheater on November 6, 2016 in in Sterling Heights, Michigan. (AFP/Jeff Kowalsky)
Donald Trump after addressing supporters at Freedom Hill Amphitheater on November 6, 2016 in in Sterling Heights, Michigan. (AFP/Jeff Kowalsky)

Republican nominee Donald Trump is reported to have been blocked from using his Twitter account by aides, in order to protect the real estate mogul’s presidential campaign from his off-the-cuff, uncensored and unfiltered thoughts.

According to a report in The New York Times in which dozens of aides, supporters and advisers were interviewed anonymously, the Trump campaign has made great efforts to keep the nominee “on message” and that has included revoking access to his popular Twitter profile, with over 13 million followers, screening his proposed tweets and convincing him to stick to talking points and scripted remarks in rallies and other speeches.

In one example given by the Times, Trumps press aide Hope Hicks co-authored, edited and published a proposed tweet by Trump on how President Barack Obama should not be spending the remainder of his time in office campaigning for Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.

In the closing days of an especially vicious presidential campaign, Trump, according to the report, is anxious, moody and restless, constantly seeking reassurance and avoiding being alone.

The Republican nominee, the Times reported, prefers the “soothing” company of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, husband to his daughter Ivanka, both of whom are said to have played an integral part of his race for the presidency.

“In the final days of the presidential campaign, Mr. Trump’s candidacy is a jarring split screen: the choreographed show of calm and confidence orchestrated by his staff, and the neediness and vulnerability of a once-boastful candidate now uncertain of victory,” the Times reported.

Jared Kushner speaking at the Bloomberg Commercial Real Estate conference in New York, Nov. 9, 2011. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg/Getty Images)
Jared Kushner speaking at the Bloomberg Commercial Real Estate conference in New York, Nov. 9, 2011. (Peter Foley/Bloomberg/Getty Images)

Offline, Trump is plotting his revenge against political rivals, including a threat to fund a Super PAC aimed at meting out punishments, according to the paper.

But even as he seemed more disciplined on the campaign trail, his campaign staff was described as a “band of squabbling and unfireable advisers, with confusing roles and an inability to sign off on basic tasks.”

Trump, according to the report, was hit especially hard following the publication last month of a 2005 audio tape in which he is heard boasting about making unwanted sexual advances, including forcibly kissing and grabbing women citing his fame.

But last week’s surprise FBI announcement that the bureau would investigate whether there was classified information in newly discovered emails that appear to be related to its probe of Clinton’s email practices during her time as secretary of state injected some new hope into the Trump campaign as the nominee, his surrogates and supporters seized on the news to further their claims that Clinton was dishonest and corrupt. The ubiquitous “lock her up” chant at his rallies became even more fervent.

The FBI’s subsequent announcement Sunday that just as in July, the agency would not recommend pressing charges against Clinton, prompted Trump to charge that his rival was “protected by a rigged system.”

A new poll Wall Street Journal and NBC poll published Sunday showed Clinton with a four-point lead among likely voters and 12 points ahead among those who have already voted.

The results showed Clinton has lost some of the lead she held in mid-October, when she was 11 points ahead.

An ABC/Washington Post tracker released earlier Sunday gave a Clinton a 48%-43% lead.

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