By Makena Kelly
Democratic presidential hopeful John Delaney wants to hit President Donald Trump where it hurts — his Twitter following. In a Wednesday tweet, Delaney called for everyone to unfollow the president, as part of a broader campaign against the White House’s Twitter obsession.
The unfollowing campaign comes after a closed-door meeting between Trump and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Tuesday afternoon. In a statement, Twitter said that the meeting was scheduled to discuss the 2020 US elections and the platform’s response to the opioid crisis, but shortly after the meeting was confirmed, reports surfaced from the Daily Beast and The Washington Post that Trump’s focus was elsewhere.
According to the Daily Beast, Trump spent an “inordinate” amount of time questioning Dorsey as to why he keeps losing followers. Dorsey attempted to reassure the president that the loss of followers was likely the result of an ongoing bot purge on the platform. But according to reports, the president continued to confront Twitter officials, particularly concerned that former President Barack Obama has more followers than he does.
It was in response to this reported behavior that Delaney, 2020 presidential candidate and former congressman from Maryland, asked his followers to head over to @RealDonaldJTrump and smash that unfollow button.
In a tweet, Delaney said “The President clearly cares more about his Twitter followers than the American people. His continued dishonesty and weaponization of social media has been divisive. I am calling on all Americans to #UnfollowTrump and hit him where it actually hurts him… his ego.”
Delaney announced his bid for presidency in 2017 and has sat low on the national polls for the past few months. He’s sought to boost the economy through education, combat climate change by way of the markets, and create a national artificial intelligence strategy.
Earlier this month, Delaney announced that, if elected president, he would work to establish a Department of Cybersecurity that would coordinate the US’s response to cyber attacks and risks. Currently, multiple agencies like the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI handle the responsibility of addressing cybersecurity, and Delaney’s plan would aim to streamline the country’s response to both foreign and domestic cyber attacks.