Donald Trump no longer controls his Twitter account.

Key to Trump’s More Disciplined Campaign? He No Longer Controls His Twitter Account

Key to Trump’s More Disciplined Campaign? He No Longer Controls His Twitter Account

The Slatest
Your News Companion
Nov. 6 2016 4:37 PM

Key to Trump’s More Disciplined Campaign? He No Longer Controls His Twitter Account

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Donald Trump gives a thumbs up to a reporter while stopping for snack food at a Wawa gas station on November 1, 2016 in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

As Election Day nears, Donald Trump has certainly seemed more focused and disciplined. He doesn’t go off message as easily and seems much more focused on the endgame. And that has been echoed in his Twitter account, which has often been a seemingly endless source of fodder for political reporters throughout the campaign.

There is a good reason for that shift: the candidate no longer controls his own Twitter account. In a telling inside look at the final days of the Trump campaign, the New York Times notes that “aides to Mr. Trump have finally wrested away the Twitter account that he used to colorfully—and often counterproductively—savage his rivals.”

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Trump can still say what he wants to tweet, but he apparently tells someone on his staff who does it for him. The Times explains:

Taking away Twitter turned out to be an essential move by his press team, which deprived him of a previously unfiltered channel for his aggressions.
On Thursday, as his plane idled on the tarmac in Miami, Mr. Trump spotted Air Force One outside his window. As he glowered at the larger plane, he told Ms. Hicks, his spokeswoman, to jot down a proposed tweet about President Obama, who was campaigning nearby for Mrs. Clinton.
“Why is he campaigning instead of creating jobs and fixing Obamacare?” Mr. Trump said. “Get back to work.” After some light editing — Ms. Hicks added “for the American people” at the end — she published it.

Although Trump may be keeping some of his thoughts away from the public spotlight, the Times also paints a scary picture of a candidate who is obsessed with getting revenge from those he feels have wronged him. “Offline, Mr. Trump still privately muses about all of the ways he will punish his enemies after Election Day, including a threat to fund a ‘super PAC’ with vengeance as its core mission,” notes the Times.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the Today’s Papers column from 2006 to 2009. Follow him on Twitter.