Hardly a day goes by without multiple tweets from President Donald Trump – too many tweets for most of the public. About two-thirds of Americans – and 44 percent of Republicans – believe the president tweets too frequently.
Throughout his presidency, more than half the public has said that President Trump’s tweeting is inappropriate for someone in his job. This week, the margin is more than two to one (58% to 26%). Republicans, however, have viewed Trump’s online activities differently. In this poll, as in many others, a majority of Republicans (52%) find the President’s tweets appropriate, while about three in 10 (29%) Republicans say they are not.
Republicans and Democrats agree that it is inappropriate for government officials to tweet about ongoing criminal cases. Only 16 percent say that is appropriate, while about three in five (61%) say it is not. Republicans generally agree, but by a smaller margin: 43 percent of Republicans think those kinds of tweets are inappropriate; 31 percent think they are fine.
Americans reject the contents of one Presidential tweet sent out last Friday, when President Trump claimed he has the “legal right” to intervene in criminal cases being investigated by the Department of Justice. Most of the public (51%) thinks he doesn’t have that right, though Republicans disagree (53% say he does).
By nearly two to one (45% to 24%) Americans believe President Trump has interfered in criminal cases.
Two-thirds of those who think the President has no legal right to intervene in criminal cases think he has attempted to do that. More than two in five (44%) of those who say he has that right say he hasn’t tried to do so.
These opinions may in part be a response to the case against Roger Stone, who is scheduled to be sentenced this week. About three-fourths (73%) have heard at least something about that case, and nearly a third say they have heard “a lot” about it.
With so many tweets, many Americans find it hard to pay attention to all of them. Just over a third say they pay “a great deal” or “some” attention to the President’s tweets. Two-thirds pay them “not much” or “no” attention. Republicans are evenly divided between those who give the tweets at least some attention and those who pay little or no attention to them.
While many are not happy with the large number of this President’s tweets, just as many take them seriously as don’t. Republicans are much more likely to take the tweets seriously. And Republicans are more likely to believe them. More than half of Republicans believe most or all of what the President says in his tweets. Less than a quarter of Americans – and only one in five of those who use Twitter – do.
The responses of those who use Twitter are nearly the same as the responses of all adults on all these questions.
With all the concerns Americans have with the President’s use of Twitter, it may be no surprise that Democrats and Republicans agree that the tweets do not represent government policy. Only 14% say they are, while more than half, 55%, believe they are not.
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Read the full toplines and crosstabs from this week’s Economist/YouGov poll