Monday, April 16, 2018

Dan Scavino | Trump’s Director of Social Media

Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters

The New York Times
by Robert Draper

“It’s so great that I have Twitter now, because I can knock the crap out of people. I have my own printing press now!”
Donald Trump

Last July, President Donald Trump was sued in federal court over his Twitter habits. It wasn’t the tone or content of Trump’s approximately 37,300 tweets that had landed him in trouble. Instead, it was the possible unconstitutionality of the way he uses one feature of the platform: the block button.

The plaintiffs, represented by Columbia University’s Knight First Amendment Institute, were seven individuals — ranging from a freelance journalist to a New York comedian to a Texas police officer — who had sent negative replies to an @realDonaldTrump tweet and were subsequently blocked by the president. Though Trump’s Twitter account purports to be a personal one, the plaintiffs argued, his writings invariably involved government business and executive opinions — making his posts a public forum to which all American citizens should be guaranteed access.

Though @realDonaldTrump reads like the unabridged representation of a singular man’s impulses, three other defendants were named in the suit, which is expected to be ruled upon in the Southern District of New York in the coming months. One of them was Hope Hicks, long a public face of Trump World, the 29-year-old former model who spent the past three years as Trump’s media liaison before leaving the White House in late March. A second was Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the president’s designated mouthpiece. But the third, unlike Hicks and Sanders, was someone most Americans have never heard of: a man named Dan Scavino Jr.

Scavino was another of the “originals” on Trump’s 2016 campaign, and I saw him numerous times on the trail, but I could never quite ascertain what he was doing to further his boss’s presidential ambitions. Aggressively nondescript, Scavino could often be seen in a suit at the side of the stage, taking photos of the immense rally crowds with his iPhone and later, while scowling at his laptop aboard Trump’s 757, posting the images to Facebook. The other fixtures on Trump’s plane — Hicks, the campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, the policy adviser Stephen Miller and the security director Keith Schiller — had roles that, in a famously unorthodox campaign, at least seemed familiar. But Scavino’s sole task, from what I could tell, was to document Trump’s popularity. Continue reading at The New York Times

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