In a new twist on the White House’s social media strategy, the Trump White House is using the social media platform to target and destroy the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election.
The move follows the recent revelation that the Whitehouse has been using the platform for months to undermine efforts to investigate the administration.
President Donald Trump on Friday said the probe is a “witch hunt” and vowed to “get to the bottom of this.”
“We will get to the heart of it,” Trump said.
“We’ll get to what’s going on, we’ll get the answers.”
While Trump has frequently used the platform to attack the probe, it is unclear whether the administration has used the tool for political purposes.
“This witch hunt is a complete sham,” the president wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.
“There is no collusion, there is no obstruction, and the Fake News Media are in cahoots with the Democrats!”
The White House has previously said it does not plan to use Twitter in a direct political campaign, but it does intend to use the platform as a “public-relations tool” to advance the president’s agenda.
Trump’s use of the social platform, which has seen rapid growth since he took office in January, has also raised eyebrows among ethics experts.
“Twitter is a tool of social control,” Jonathan Turley, a former White House ethics adviser under President Barack Obama, told The Hill.
“It’s a tool that gives you an excuse to push a message to a wide audience.”
Turley said Trump’s Twitter use, combined with his repeated and escalating attacks on the probe by the media and Democrats, have “put pressure on the Department of Justice to move aggressively against the president.”
The Justice Department has denied that it has used Twitter in any way to interfere with the investigation, saying that its role is to investigate violations of federal law.
“The president and the administration have been using social media to amplify the president and his agenda, and to promote his falsehoods, his false claims, and his false accusations,” a Justice Department official told The Washington Post in a statement.
“They have engaged in a concerted effort to silence the public and the media.”
While it is not known whether Trump is the target of the attacks, Turley noted that the president has frequently accused the media of spreading false stories and has repeatedly tweeted that he was not under investigation.
“When he does use Twitter, he uses it as a tool to amplify his message,” Turley told The Associated Press.
“And the only thing you can do about that is to get the message out.”