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Donald Trump really has become the commander-in-tweet.
A CNN analysis finds that the president is tweeting more now than he did during the first two years of his presidency. He’s also talking more on camera, and giving lengthier speeches at his rallies.
CNN public editor and political fact-checker Daniel Dale drew on data from Factba.se, which tracks, transcribes and indexes everything that Trump says and posts. Its mission is not to debate or to characterize any of the president’s comments, but rather to preserve a public archive to keep Americans informed.
And this chart shows that Trump has averaged 83 tweets a week in 2019, which is a 43% increase from when he posted 58 tweets a week in 2018. It’s a whopping 91% spike from the 44 tweets a week that he tapped out in 2017.
He’s retweeting even more, averaging 38 RTs a week this year, which is a 326% spike from about nine a week in 2018, and six a week in 2017.
Trump is also expressing himself more IRL, as well. The data finds that his rally speeches have increased 26% from last year, now averaging at about one hour and 22 minutes, compared to one hour and five minutes last year, and just 59 minutes the year before. Indeed, seven of the 10 longest rally speeches of Trump’s presidency were given this year — and Trump has only had 11 rallies so far in 2019.
He’s also chewing reporters’ ears off more just before or just after his flights on Marine One or Air Force One. This “chopper talk” has averaged 12 minutes and 37 seconds this year, or a 78% increase over the chats that hovered around seven minutes and five seconds last year.
And with the 2020 presidential election around the corner, Trump is also spending more time on camera. The POTUS averaged about two hours and 37 minutes a week speaking on the air through the second week of September 2019, or about 25 extra minutes talking on camera a week compared to the same time last year.
But Dale suggests that it’s not just the pending election that’s spurring Trump to speak more publicly. Dale writes that, “The increases have come as Trump has rid himself of most of the advisers who reportedly tried to constrain his impulses, like chief of staff John Kelly and defense secretary James Mattis, and as he has appeared to become even more comfortable behaving as he wishes. This is Trump unleashed.”