The Cable

#AskTrump Ignores Critics While Addressing Israel, U.S. Border Security, and Tony Romo

Donald Trump ignored Twitter critics during a question-and-answer session on social media.

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Donald Trump, the outsider candidate who leads the 2016 GOP presidential pack, took questions on Twitter Monday afternoon, using the hashtag #askTrump. The real estate mogul stuck to his guns: His answers were short, both in terms of their length and the amount of detail he included about what he’d do as president. And Trump ignored thousands of trolls who used the occasion to call him out on polarizing statements about immigrants, women, and international affairs.

Typically, these type of Twitter events don’t go well; just ask Bill Cosby, who was pilloried with tweets about his alleged history of raping women when his social media team tried the self-promotional stunt last year. Trump did his best to keep things on message; obviously, he had discretion on the questions he chose to answer. But some of his statements made on the campaign trail provided Twitter critics with a target rich environment.

Trump started off serious. The first question he answered was about Israel, which he promised would be “very, very secure.”

It didn’t take long for Trump to veer away from politics and into sports. He answered a question about whether the Dallas Cowboys are doomed now that their quarterback, Tony Romo, is out for an extended period after breaking his collarbone.

Then, he answered a question about homelessness. “We’re going to solve that,” Trump said.

Soon, Trump was back to football. Is Baltimore Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco elite?

He then said he would sacrifice his salary if elected present.

The first thing he’d do as president? Close U.S. borders.

Trump ignored the vast majority of queries; he had to, as the #askTrump hashtag was tweeted tens of thousands of times. Many of the messages the billionaire businessman set aside called him out for his more controversial statements.

And just like that, it was over. The whole exercise lasted about half an hour.

Photo credit: Steve Pope/Getty Images

David Francis was a senior reporter for Foreign Policy, where he covered international finance. @davidcfrancis

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