Over the course of the last five months or so, Twitter has seemingly been President Trump’s worst nightmare. While he seems to be addicted to the 140-character social media platform, it’s this very platform which has gotten him into a lot of hot water as of late. From his claims that Obama wiretapped him, to his claims that his conversation with former FBI Director James Comey may have been taped, Twitter may actually be his downfall.
In addition to his own Twitter-spawned self destruction, his political opponents and the media have used the platform to reach Americans as well. In fact, on any given day there are usually at least a couple Twitter trends which are related in some way to the issues facing President Trump. Front and center to most Twitter users is a list of hashtags and words/phrases which are trending among the social network. If a lot of users begin tweeting with the hashtag #TrumpImpeachment, for instance, that trend will show up to millions of Twitter users across the nation.
Twitter also happens to sell a top trending spot, which they label as ‘Promoted”. Usually you will find a new movie or television series, looking to attract new viewers, pay for that position, which certainly is not cheap. In fact, according to SmallBizTrends, the “Promoted” Twitter Trend position will run a company approximately $200,000 a day. This is why I was shocked to see what was being advertised in that position this morning.
As you may be aware, Nevada’s Republican Senator Dean Heller has come out as the 5th Republican to oppose the recent Senate Healthcare Bill. This of course can not please President Trump or the GOP. Apparently people close to the President are so angry at Heller’s position that they have paid Twitter to promote the hashtag #HellerVoteYes in order to pressure the Senator into changing his stance. Under the hashtag promotion, the advertisement states, “Tell Sen. Heller to vote YES to repeal and replace ObamaCare! — Promoted by AmericaFirstPolicies“.
So who exactly is AmericaFirstPolicies? You guessed it! They are a group of past Trump advisers. A total of six of President Trump’s top campaign aides have come together to start the nonprofit called “America First Policies” in an effort to back the White House’s agenda. The six individuals include Brad Parscale, who was the digital and data director for the Trump campaign, a onetime deputy campaign manager, Rick Gates, another Trump deputy campaign manager David Bossie, senior adviser on the campaign communications team Katrina Pierson, and two campaign advisers to Vice President Mike Pence, Marty Obst and Nick Ayers.
“Some of the same like-minded individuals who put their energy into getting Mr. Trump elected are now going to be part of a grassroots group to go out there and help with the agenda, help the White House be successful,” explained Parscale to the Associated Press back in January.
While there is nothing illegal about what Trump’s former aides are doing here, likely at the direction of the President himself, it is rather an odd approach at trying to intimidate a Senator in order to change their stance on a bill.
Many who oppose the bill are now tweeting with the hashtag #HellerVoteNo, in an effort to counter the paid advertisement.