It's a big day for Donald Trump. Not only is the president-elect's inauguration just two weeks away, but today is the day the Republican will receive a classified briefing on the intelligence community's findings about Russia's alleged espionage operation into the U.S. presidential election.And it's against this backdrop that Trump woke up this morning and started sharing his thoughts via Twitter. The first thing on his mind? Mocking Democrats
for losing the presidential election two months ago. The second thing on his mind? Mocking "The Apprentice" reality show
-- which he used to host, and which he's still an executive producer for -- over its ratings.At one point, the incoming leader of the free world referred to himself in the third person as "the ratings machine
." No, really, this grown man actually published that for all the world to see.Tweets like these raise all kinds of questions about the president-elect's breathtaking insecurities, but they also serve as a reminder about a different kind of insecurity involving Trump and his favorite social-media tool. BuzzFeed had a striking report
[The insecurity of Trump's hackable Twitter account] was acceptable when @realDonaldTrump concerned itself with Kristen Stewart cheating on Robert Pattinson and how thin people don't drink Diet Coke. And yet Trump's newfound influence -- combined with the unpredictability of his tweets — makes the president-elect's account a particularly tempting target for hackers.That's especially true because there is a large fortune that could be made in a single 140-character message. If someone were able to gain access to Trump's Twitter, they could tweet approvingly or disapprovingly about a company (as Trump has done) and play the stock market accordingly — or cause others to do so.... If the hacker were geopolitically motivated, they could tweet favorably or unfavorably about a country or a leader (as Trump has done) and alter foreign affairs.
The New Republic
's Jeet Heer recently made the case that Trump's tweets represent a national-security threat
. Heer was referring to the Republican's chest-thumping belligerence towards other countries, and the piece didn't even get to the possibility of someone hacking the account, which obviously complicates the threat.What's more, as a friend of mine joked yesterday, Trump's communications tend to be, shall we say, unorthodox
anyway, so if someone hacked his Twitter account and published problematic messages, it might even take a while before someone on Team Trump realized it wasn't him.In related news, CNN's Brian Stelter had an interesting tidbit
this week about public perceptions of Trump's tweets.
One incredible thing that's catching my attention is tech CEOs -- talking about Trump -- are fearing getting a tweet about their companies at 3 a.m. West Coast time since the president-elect often tweets in the 6 a.m. Eastern hour.On the one hand I've heard from many in the tech community here who say they are eager for a Trump rollback on regulations that could have a positive effect on their business. On the other hand -- multiple tech leaders say they or their PR folks have adjusted their schedules to make sure someone is up at 3 a.m. local time to catch the the tweets out of fear that a Trump tweet could crash their stock and put their company into a frenzy.
A news report out of South Korea added
that the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs' North American Affairs Bureau "recently assigned an officer to screen Trump's Twitter account, especially tweets related to Korea and northeast Asia."Sean Spicer, the incoming White House press secretary, recently said Trump's Twitter use will not only continue after Inauguration Day, it will also be a "really exciting
" part of his presidency.That's probably not the adjective I'd use.