Trump FBI Twitter announcement raises eyebrows

President Trump’s nomination of Christopher Wray to be FBI director on Tuesday morning came not via an official statement from the White House or verbally from the president, but rather from Trump’s preferred method of communication: Twitter. 

“I will be nominating Christopher A. Wray, a man of impeccable credentials, to be the new Director of the FBI. Details to follow,” he wrote to his 31.8 million followers.  

The “details to follow” will likely be more about Wray himself, who is largely unknown to everyday Americans. 

Trump’s decision to announce Wray on Twitter has lead to speculation about whether his White House press office was aware the nomination was going to be made public in such fashion. 

{mosads}As professor of media studies at DePauw University Jeff McCall pointed out, using a social media platform to announce a new FBI director has its limitations.

“Wray is not a household name and, thus, the announcement on Twitter means little to people who have no context,” McCall said. “That includes the press, of course, which then must try to report about the Wray announcement without readily available bio info.” 

“A secondary meaning here is that Trump remains undisciplined and is not working with his own media handlers,” he continued. “An announcement of this magnitude, especially the day before the [former FBI Director James] Comey hearing, needs to be managed for maximum clarity and impact.” 

“A tweet doesn’t allow for that.” 

Brian Flood, a media reporter for The Wrap, said Trump’s staffers, particularly on the communications team, may be wondering what their role is when it comes to breaking news to the public. 

“Trump’s staffers and press office are going to have to figure out a way to remain relevant and trustworthy despite the president using Twitter to distribute important information, because he’s obviously not going to stop making announcements on social media anytime soon,” Flood said. 

If confirmed, Wray would succeed Comey, who was abruptly fired last month.

The announcement of a new FBI director, which will likely dominate the Wednesday news cycle, comes one day before Comey testifies before the Senate Intelligence Committee about whether Trump tried to pressure him to ease off the probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn. 

All cable news networks plan to carry the hearing live, as do the broadcast networks of CBS, NBC, ABC and FOX. 

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