"It is likely that for the rest of my life I will not go a single day without thinking about Donald Trump at least once, which is terrifying," Demos Action policy analyst Sean McElwee tweeted last December. Maybe some day we'll outlive our thoughts of Trump, but for now he's impossible to escape. And given his predilection for news-making tweets, it can even feel necessary to follow the personal Twitter account of modern America's fastest-hated president. But there are ways to follow the tweets without following @RealDonaldTrump.
Photo illustration by Lifehacker
Get Trump's Tweets Immediately
If you just don't want to add to Trump's follower count or show up in his "Followers you follow" section, follow IRetweetTrump instead. This account automatically retweets every Trump tweet — including his retweets, which might look a bit confusing in your timeline. It doesn't grant you much distance, but it's the fastest way to see every Trump tweet.
See Trump's Tweets Without His Face
Real Press Sec. automatically reformats every Trump tweet as an official presidential statement. (It ignores retweets.) Tweets are delayed just a few minutes, and the text is embedded in an image.
A statement by the President: pic.twitter.com/s24IP6w5pi
— Real Press Sec. (@RealPressSecBot) June 6, 2017
This treatment highlights the gulf between Trump's Twitter style and the formal language of official statements (a language frequently adopted on Obama's Twitter account). It provides some distance from the immediate tweets, and because it doesn't link to the original, it removes the temptation to click through and see the toxic replies.
Imagine a More Presidential Trump
PresidentialTrump quote-tweets a selection of Trump tweets and adds a more mature spin. For example, Trump's tweet after the most recent London terrorist attack — "Do you notice we are not having a gun debate right now? That's because they used knives and a truck!" — is replaced with a less hypocritical response:
— PresidentialTrump (@MatureTrumpTwts) June 4, 2017
The account also gives Trump a sense of humour:
— PresidentialTrump (@MatureTrumpTwts) December 4, 2016
And it occasionally addresses issues that the real Trump ignores:
Portland lost 2 heroes attempting to do the right thing. We must be/do better as a country & rid the anger & hate that is holding us back.
— PresidentialTrump (@MatureTrumpTwts) May 27, 2017
PresidentialTrump doesn't deliver every Trump tweet, and tweets are delayed by a few minutes to a few hours, but it does provide some cathartic distance without veering into unfunny "parody account" territory. As the account's creator "Barry" told Select/All in February, "I think my approach works because I'm not sardonic or biting, instead simply providing a primer for a better way of being statesmanlike, something a lot of Americans want and expect from their President."
The Atlantic's Donald Trump Tweet Tracker analyses significant Trump tweets, noting political and historical context as well as Trump's grudges and past actions. For example, under Trump's recent criticism of London mayor Sadiq Khan, the Tweet Tracker describes the "icy relationship" between the two men and predicts the tweet's possible consequences for the upcoming UK general election.
This analysis adds a significant delay, but if you prefer to get your Trump news once or twice a day, the Tweet Tracker is a good bookmark. (The Washington Post's RealDonaldContext extension for Chrome and Firefox provided a similar context, but the Post apparently abandoned it in February.)
Bathe in the Trump Feed's Anger and Aggression
The Trump Twitter Archive collects every Trump tweet, categorising them by frequent Trump keywords like "fake news", "loser" and "the worst". It isn't cathartic at all, and it's only revealing to those who have carefully avoided reading any Trump tweets for the last few years, but it's nice to know someone's keeping track.