Donald Trump has a problem with Obama not providing him with Secret Service protection. Obviously, his aides do, too, which was made clear when one aide, Daniel Scavino, Jr., sent a bunch of tweets to the President, DHS, and the Secret Service, saying Trump needs protection now.
The harassing tweets themselves have been removed, as demonstrated in the screencaps below:
Either Twitter felt the tweets were in violation of their standards and removed them, or the users themselves removed them. Either way, they’re no longer there.
Let’s get one thing straight: Death threats on social media are reprehensible, and deserve removal, no matter who they’re against. The users of accounts that post such threats should be suspended, or even banned. Trump’s campaign also ought to consider sending these tweets to law enforcement in New York (or wherever Trump’s permanent address is), and asking them to investigate.
At least, since Trump is a rich white man, they might take him more seriously than women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community are taken when they receive threats of physical harm over social media. If the Secret Service does, in fact, decide they have the time and personnel to investigate harassment against someone they don’t even protect, purely based on retweets, it would demonstrate the massive discrimination and hypocrisy present in determining whose complaints are serious, and who should be dismissed out of hand.
It’s really hard to say whether social media threats are credible or not (which is why law enforcement needs to take them more seriously). As both Gawker and Buzzfeed’s Andrew Kaczynski said, this looks like the work of idiotic teenagers. However, one of the tweets remains, and doesn’t even say what Scavino seems to think it says:
Plugging the foreign words into Google Translate reveals Portuguese, and the translated tweet is not a threat against Trump at all. This Twitter user actually said (direct translation):
I do not know who made the assembly of Donald Trump manbun, but I will find you and I will kill you.
She was talking about finding the creator of a Photoshopped image of Trump, and threatening that person, not Trump. Now Scavino looks like an idiot for retweeting this at DHS, the Secret Service, and Obama, and calling it a threat to Trump. He didn’t do his homework here. This particular tweet spawned the following conversation, full of both idiots and people who knew better:
So, should Trump have Secret Service protection already? He’s the number one Republican candidate according to squillions of different polls, and it’s true that the Secret Service does provide protection to some presidential candidates. The Secret Service is part of DHS, and the decision ultimately rests with DHS. They consult with an advisory committee on who’s considered “major.”
This committee consists of the Speaker of the House (a Republican right now), the House Minority Whip (a Democrat at the moment), the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders (Republican and Democrat, respectively) and an additional member that the committee itself chooses.
Trump has spoken to the Secret Service; however, according to Fox News, DHS has said that Trump hasn’t formally requested protection. If he does send a request, then the Secretary of Homeland Security will authorize protection—or not—after consulting with the committee mentioned above.
We’re not saying threats shouldn’t be taken seriously. There is a serious problem with online harassment, especially on Twitter, and law enforcement needs to take it far more seriously than they do.
The point that we’re making is that, if Scavino believes these tweets are credible threats, he needs to take it to appropriate law enforcement, not retweet them to DHS, the Secret Service, and the President, while whining, “This is why my boss needs your help! We don’t want to go through proper channels and wait! Why won’t you pay attention to ussssssssss?”
If nothing else, not taking appropriate action with those tweets could prove dangerous, should these threats turn out to be credible. Besides, if women, people of color, members of the LGBTQ community, etc., are going to be told how they need to handle online harassment, then The Donald and his staff ought to follow those same guidelines.
You know, since that’s the “proper” way to handle a situation like this.