At this point, the American people are well-used (if not desensitized) to President Donald Trump tweeting incendiary messages at random times. But it's much rarer for him to recant his words, so when he deletes a tweet, people take notice. That's what happened late Friday afternoon, when Trump tweeted and quickly deleted a message on one of his favorite topics of late: the "fake news" media and its bias against him.
Whoopsy-daisies, saw that before you deleted it. pic.twitter.com/ulyAqGKd0V— Carol Hartsell (@carolrhartsell) February 17, 2017
Others also preserved the tweet, including Atlantic Senior Editor David Frum.
I'm not very good at screenshotting, but ... pic.twitter.com/M2P8S9S1mK— David Frum (@davidfrum) February 17, 2017
An American president sworn to defend the Constitution wrote those words https://t.co/RHFNb7rd6F— David Frum (@davidfrum) February 17, 2017
And he has a theory as to what it means.
Decoded: one or more of NYT, CNN or NBCNews has a very very damaging story in the pipeline …— David Frum (@davidfrum) February 17, 2017
… whose accuracy has now been confirmed in advance https://t.co/x6Fff6wSwi— David Frum (@davidfrum) February 17, 2017
But as to why it was deleted, that's still a mystery. Especially because minutes later, Trump tweeted an amended version of the same message.
Did he delete it because he forgot to include ABC and CBS? Or because he regretted using the word "sick?" That would seem odd, considering it's no harsher than what he says about the news media during his regular press conferences.
Needless to say, many eyes will be tuned to the news in the coming hours and days to see if David Frum's prediction comes true.