President Donald Trump’s tweets have transformed political communications and defined his first year in the White House.
From threatening North Korea with nuclear annihilation and Mexico with a military invasion to taunting his critics and undermining his members of his own Cabinet, Trump has used Twitter in ways that have riled Washington and unnerved America’s allies.
While his staff and Republican leaders have pleaded with him to rein in his Twitter use, Trump insists it lets him speak directly to Americans by bypassing “biased” news outlets. He has 45 million followers at @realDonaldTrump and 21.5 million at @POTUS, but connects with millions more as each tweet is shared repeatedly, and often serves as the source of news stories in the media outlets he criticizes.
Here are 17 of the most eye-popping Trump tweets of 2017:
1. “Don’t believe the main stream (fake news) media.The White House is running VERY WELL. I inherited a MESS and am in the process of fixing it,” Trump tweeted Feb. 18 following a combative news conference amid reports of problems in the West Wing.
2. “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” Trump tweeted March 4, comparing the alleged wiretapping to the criminal acts of Watergate. He never produced evidence.
3. “Can you imagine what the outcry would be if @SnoopDogg, failing career and all, had aimed and fired the gun at President Obama? Jail time!” Trump tweeted March 15 after rapper Snoop Dogg releases a music video of him shooting a clown dressed like Trump.
4. “either elect more Republican Senators in 2018 or change the rules now to 51%. Our country needs a good ‘shutdown’ in September to fix mess!” Trump tweeted May 2, blaming Senate rules, which require 60 votes to pass most legislation, for the exclusion of border wall funding from a spending bill.
5. “James Comey better hope that there are no ‘tapes’ of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!” Trump tweeted May 12 appearing to threatening Comey after reports that Trump called for loyalty.
6. “This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!” Trump tweeted May 18, decrying the investigation into Russian election meddling.
9. “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man......Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!” Trump tweeted in a series of Oct. 1 tweets, mocking North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
10. “...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!” Trump tweeted Oct. 12, threatening to pull federal emergency workers from the hurricane-ravaged island.
11. “Congratulations to all of the ‘DEPLORABLES’ and the millions of people who gave us a MASSIVE (304-227) Electoral College landslide victory!” Trump tweeted Nov. 8, the anniversary of his win, referring to Hillary Clinton’s name for his supporters.
12. “Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?’ Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend - and maybe someday that will happen!” Trump tweeted Nov. 11 from from an Asia-Pacific economic summit where he was seeking to rally global pressure against the rogue nation.
13. “Crooked Hillary Clinton is the worst (and biggest) loser of all time. She just can’t stop, which is so good for the Republican Party. Hillary, get on with your life and give it another try in three years!” Trump tweeted Nov. 18 to Clinton, urging her to run for office again.
14. “HAPPY THANKSGIVING to everyone--I love you all, even my many enemies (sometimes!),” Trump tweeted Nov. 21.
15. “It wasn’t the White House, it wasn’t the State Department, it wasn’t father LaVar’s so-called people on the ground in China that got his son out of a long term prison sentence - IT WAS ME. Too bad! LaVar is just a poor man’s version of Don King, but without the hair. Just think,” Trump tweeted Nov. 22 about the father of a UCLA basketball player after his son’s release from China for alleged shoplifting.
16. “.@Theresa_May, don’t focus on me, focus on the destructive Radical Islamic Terrorism that is taking place within the United Kingdom. We are doing just fine!” Trump tweeted Nov. 29 at British prime minister following her criticism of his retweets of anti-Muslim videos. He initially used the wrong Twitter handle for her.
17. “Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!” Trump tweeted Dec. 12 after the New York Democrat said Trump should resign over sexual misconduct accusations.
Franco Ordonez, Anita Kumar, Brian Murphy and. Jordan Lofaro contributed.