Donald Trump has over 24 million Twitter followers, but he only follows 41 accounts. Who are these people? When the president takes up his phone after a long day of re-greatening America, whose tweets does he see? The people Trump follows on Twitter fall into five categories:
Like many 70-year-old users of social media, Trump organizes his Twitter experience around members of his own family. Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Eric Trump, Melania Trump, Vanessa Trump—whose profile specifies that “my children are my life” and who does, indeed, seem to only tweet photos of them—Lara Trump (wife of Eric), and Tiffany Ariana Trump. All told, members of Trump’s immediately family and their spouses make up 18% of the people he follows.
Trump is not just a person; he’s a brand. The Trump names means luxury, hospitality, and entertainment, along with barely-coded racism and the increasing likelihood of nuclear war. But mostly it means golf. Trump follows the Twitter accounts of three of his own golf courses, including @TrumpGolfLA, @TrumpGolfDC, and the Trump National Doral course in Miami, as well as the Trump Golf umbrella brand. He also follows Trump hotels in Chicago, Waikiki and Las Vegas. Eighteen percent of the Twitter accounts Trump follows are his own brands—the exact same portion as members of his family, although that’s probably a coincidence. Still, more than a third of the content Trump sees on Twitter comes with “Trump” right in the name.
No man is an island—even a man as expansive as Trump. Besides his family and his brands, Trump also follows a number of people he works with: his assistant and White House director of social media Dan Scavino Jr., his chief of staff Reince Priebus, his former national campaign spokeswoman Katrina Pierson, his former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, and Vice President Mike Pence. Trump also follows a few people he has worked with in a non-political capacity, if anything he does can be said to fit that rubric. He follows Mark Burnett, Celebrity Apprentice producer and president of MGM Television and Digital Group. He follows Katrina Campins, from the first season of The Apprentice. He follows WWE CEO Vince McMahon, whom he defeated in a hair match at Wrestlemania XXIII. He also follows his personal attorney Michael Cohen, whom he has not publicly wrestled. Employees, coworkers, and people with whom Trump has had business dealings compose 24% of the people he follows.
Trump is a famously steady consumer of television, and he follows several Fox News personalities: Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity, Geraldo Rivera, Eric Bolling, Laura Ingraham. He follows the accounts of Fox Nation—whose bio reads “join the community that believes in the American dream”—and Fox & Friends. He also follows some non-Fox personalities, including Greta Van Susteren, Mika Brzezinksi and Joe Scarborough of Morning Joe, Ann Coulter of Satan’s twitching anus, and Drudge Report. Together, this assembly of people who provide news to your divorced uncle make up 32% of Trump’s Twitter feed.
People who are not media figures, other Trumps, Trump brands, or coworkers
This may be the most interesting subcategory of accounts Trump follows, because they give us a tantalizing glimpse of his inner life. Unfortunately, that glimpse is like when you think you see a person in a dark room but it turns out someone hung up a suit. Trump follows the pro golfer Gary Player, who is probably real but sounds made up. He follows Diamond and Silk, who describe themselves in their bio as “President Trump’s biggest supporters,” “biological sisters” and “public figures.” He also follows Roma Downey, executive producer of The Bible and other Christian-themed entertainments. She seems like an interesting lead at first, being neither a Trump nor a Trump employee nor a conservative news personality. It almost suggests he has some interest beyond TV and himself, but further investigation reveals she is married to Apprentice producer Mark Burnett. Still, she is not technically Trump’s coworker, family member, or property. This group of people whom Trump sees neither on television nor at Thanksgiving dinner constitutes 8% of the accounts he follows.
That’s it—Trump’s Twitter feed in a nutshell. You can visualize it with this handy pie chart:
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