Donald Trump's criticism of union leader on Twitter leads to question of his social media influence

Posted at 11:55 AM, Dec 08, 2016

DENVER -- President-elect Donald Trump took to Twitter Wednesday night to slam the Indiana union leader who criticized him over what he called the “dog and pony show” deal to keep hundreds of Carrier Corporation jobs from moving to Mexico.

"Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers,” Trump tweeted. Jones represents union members who work at Carrier’s Indianapolis plant.

He sent another tweet minutes later saying the union would have kept the jobs in Indiana if the union “was any good” and that it should “spend more time working-less time talking.”

Jones told The Washington Post Tuesday that Trump “lied his ass off” about the deal, which has been in the making for months.

Trump originally said his deal, which gives the company a $7 million tax break from Indiana over the next 10 years, would save 1,100 jobs. But Jones said the truth was that only 730 jobs were saved and that more than 1,200 were still going to Mexico.


He also previously, and falsely, accused Ford Motor Company of moving to Mexico, though it said it was only planning to move a single production line.

The president-elect’s recent business-related tweets have led many to question their effects on deals in the business world.

On Dec. 6, Trump claimed that a Boeing contract to build updated Air Force One planes would cost “more than $4 billion,” to which he added, “Cancel order!”

He tweeted the message less than a half-hour after a Chicago Tribune story posted online in which Boeing’s CEO cast doubts on Trump’s international business plans.

Boeing stock temporarily lost about $1 billion in value, though it had recovered to values similar to the day’s opening by the end of trading.

The $4 billion value is also in doubt, as Boeing confirmed it was under a $170 million contract to aid in building the new aircraft. A government spokesperson said the final details of the cost of the deal were still being developed.

Trump also tweeted in the past week about a “deal” with Japan-based SoftBank that he says is a $50 billion investment and he says will bring 50,000 jobs to the U.S. But that tweet, too, has had holes poked in it.

The $50 billion is part of a previously-announced investment by the company, who said previously that it was investing $100 billion in worldwide tech companies, according to the New York Times. Some of the fund also comes from Saudi Arabia, and Foxxconn – a Taiwan-based technology company – is also said to be involved in the deal.


Trump has arguably been the among the most-effective Twitter users, especially among politicians.

He has 17 million followers on the social networking site, though the true number of active users remains unknown.

He also, at times, is extremely accessible for a major politician via the network. He often manually retweets regular users, and has said he uses Twitter to get “important things” out “much faster than a press release,” as he told NBC Tuesday.

But he has not held a news conference in months, so traditional news outlets have at times been forced to rely on his social media feeds and surrogates for information directly from the source.

President Barack Obama has also held fewer news conferences toward the end of his presidency. And though he was the first president to have a Twitter account, he rarely interacts with the public like Trump.

White House access has decreased steadily over the years. The public used to be able to walk right up to the White House doors, but as security concerns grew over the years, they were pushed back to the White House front lawn.

Perimeters were installed over the years, and the Secret Service started guarding the home at one point in the late 1800s. They started protecting the president after President William McKinley was assassinated in 1901, according to research by The Washington Post.

The military protected the White House during the two world wars, and gates to the White House were closed to the public for good during World War II.

Eventually, traffic along Pennsylvania Avenue was closed altogether after a series of security breaches during Bill Clinton’s first term and the Oklahoma City bombing.

Tours are still allowed, but have been restricted since the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.

Now, people going on tours of the president’s home must go through Congress in order to arrange one.


Sign up for Denver7 email alerts to stay informed about breaking news and daily headlines.

Or, keep up-to-date by following Denver7 on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.