Donald Trump defends Twitter use, says social media key to White House victory

Donald Trump defends Twitter use, says social media key to White House victory

Donald Trump defends Twitter use, says social media key to White House victory

Updated 22 October 2017, 15:30 AEDT

US President Donald Trump defends his regular use of social media, especially Twitter, saying he would "never be able to get the word out" without the platform and that he doubts he would have made it to the White House without it.

United States President Donald Trump has defended his regular use of social media, especially Twitter, and says he may not have won the White House without it.

In an interview airing on US channel Fox Business Network, Mr Trump said he could bypass what he labels unfair media coverage by speaking directly to his followers.

"Tweeting is like a typewriter — when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show," he said, according to a transcript released by the network.

"I doubt I would be here if weren't for social media, to be honest with you."

Mr Trump called his social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram "a tremendous platform".

"When somebody, says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it," he said.

"The other way, I would never be [able to] get the word out."

Republican leaders have regularly urged Mr Trump to avoid or cut back on tweeting and the US President has acknowledged some friends suggest he not use social media.

Mr Trump regularly mounts attacks on Twitter, especially at news media and political opponents, often sending out missives in the early morning or late evening hours.

At times, Mr Trump's tweets have contained factual inaccuracies and personal attacks.

In February for example, he addressed the Australia-US refugee deal by criticising the Obama administration for agreeing to take "thousands of illegal immigrants from Australia".

In the deal, Australia agreed to consider resettling Central American refugees from a centre in Costa Rica while the US promised to consider taking refugees from Manus Island and Nauru.

In March, Mr Trump asserted without evidence that US president Barack Obama had ordered Trump Tower in New York wiretapped — something Mr Obama denied.

In September, the FBI and the Justice Department said in a court filing "they have no records related to wiretaps as described" by tweets from Mr Trump.

He also criticised US senator Bob Corker in a series of tweets, prompting Mr Corker to respond: "It's a shame the White House has become an adult daycare centre. Someone obviously missed their shift this morning."

White House chief of staff John Kelly said last week some have criticised him for failing to control Mr Trump's tweeting.

"I was not brought to this job to control anything but the flow of information to our President," Mr Kelly said.

In July, Mr Trump was sued in federal court by seven individuals whom he has blocked on Twitter.

The Justice Department said the suit should be dismissed, arguing it "rests on the unsupported and erroneous premise that the President's Twitter account is a public forum for First Amendment purposes".