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Twitter Diplomacy Is Nothing New: The State Department Does It All The Time

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Saagar Enjeti White House Correspondent
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President-elect Donald Trump’s use of Twitter to conduct diplomacy is not unprecedented, despite multiple claims to the contrary.

Vanity Fair likened Trump’s Twitter usage to a “Diplomatic Nightmare.” The People’s Republic of China similarly said that Trump’s Twitter diplomacy was “undesirable.” Trump’s use of Twitter could “dismantle diplomacy,” experts at Teen Vogue said. Reuters also ran a commentary titled, “Trump’s brave new world of Twitter diplomacy.”

The U.S. Department of State, its spokesman, and representatives routinely use Twitter to send major messages to friends and foes. State Department spokesman John Kirby used to Twitter to call on Turkish media to stop falsely reporting on the U.S. role in the recent Istanbul terror attack.

Kirby also used Twitter Dec. 27 to dispute the Times of Israel’s report that State Department officials colluded with Palestinian officials on a recent U.N. resolution condemning Israel. In stark contrast, Trump is often lampooned for disputing the facts of stories on Twitter.

Kirby also retweeted a Jordanian politician after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s speech defending the U.S. decision not to veto the U.N. resolution.

The State Department’s counter-terrorism bureau even uses Twitter to announce major matters such as international terrorism sanctions. The bureau used its Twitter account to announce its sanction of Osama bin-Laden’s son, including the announcement.

The pattern of tweets from the last month alone represent vigorous Twitter usage by the State Department and its spokesman for the release information, calls to action, and disputing of the facts.

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