During a night-time Twitter session on Tuesday, Donald Trump shared a number of messages from other users praising him – and one of them was two years old.
The tweet came from JT Lewis, a Republican state senate candidate from Connecticut whose younger brother was killed in the December 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting.
Now 20 years old, he has become a vocal advocate of school security measures – including installing bulletproof glass and stationing armed guards in school buildings – while largely eschewing calls for stronger gun control laws.
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In the 2018 tweet picked up by Mr Trump last night, he praises the president for “his leadership on the Federal School Safety Report”, saying “This is the most progress we, as a Country, have ever made toward School Safety!”
Along with the 2018 tweet, Mr Trump also retweeted one of Mr Lewis’s more recent messages, this one reading “‘Trump isn’t going to accept the 2020 election results,’ shout the people who still haven’t accepted the 2016 election results.”
Noticing that Mr Trump had been browsing his feed, Mr Lewis tweeted at the president directly: “@realDonaldTrump I see you’re on my account right now, so I wanted to let you know America has your back! Please keep fighting for us!”
During the same Twitter session, Mr Trump twice quote-tweeted himself saying “THE SILENT MAJORITY IS STRONGER THAN EVER!!!”, commenting “true!” and “so true!”
The phrase “silent majority” is usually associated with Richard Nixon, who used it to describe mostly blue-collar white Americans who supported the Vietnam War and largely stayed out of politics. Some Republicans have used it this year to refer to the millions of people who fit the demographic profile of Trump voters but did not vote in 2016.
It is not clear whether this is the sense in which the president is using the term, or what he means by “stronger than ever”.