Merriam-Webster’s Social Media Team Is The New Hero Of The Free World (VIDEO)

Anyone watching the Republican senators cross-examine former acting Attorney General Sally Yates might be forgiven for thinking that they tuned in to the wrong hearing. Or that the entire thing had been mislabeled from the get go.

Because for the GOP, this was no investigation into President Donald Trump’s love affair with all things Russian. Senators such as Ted Cruz (R-Texas) seemed more interested in vomiting faux outrage over Yates’ refusal to instigate a travel ban that she deemed unconstitutional.

And all this in spite of the fact that the courts agreed with her analysis of the ban. It targets Muslims. It violates constitutional safeguards against religious tests. It’s still being blocked by various courts.

Of course, Trump had already weighed in on the subject. Several hours before Yates’ testimony to the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, the President indulged in a presumably involuntary Twitter spasm over how fake it all was.

He even took the time to attack the witness herself.

Tamper Proof

You’re really not supposed to do that.

As Salon noted, Trump’s tweet could be interpreted as the issuance of public directives to GOP sycophants on the committee and what’s worse could be interpreted as a threat. All of the which could be construed as:

“Felonious witness tampering.” 

Because witness tampering is illegal. Indeed, it is a violation of title 18 of the U.S. Code and, as again Salon pointed out:

“Trump, via Twitter, was clearly attempting to mute Yates’ testimony by accusing her of leaking classified information about Michael Flynn.”

So there’s that.

And then, of course, there’s the misuse of the word council. In the original tweet, Trump misspelled ‘counsel,’ writing instead, ‘W.H. Council.’ The tweet was replaced with a corrected version shortly after somebody explained the concept of homonyms to the President.

It was all too much for the etymologists at Merriam-Webster. In what might have been a last-ditch attempt at getting the President to set an example — by having somebody with a post sixth-grade grasp of the English language to check his tweets before he hits the enter key — they decided to clarify the correct usage of the words.

The World Wide Webster


The internet showed its appreciation of course.

It also managed to hold on to the serious question of Trump’s illegality over this matter.

Meanwhile, one Trump supporter seemed to think that Merriam-Webster was some guy who just happened to know an awful lot about words.

Others quite rightly noted that the President is not supposed to delete his tweets.

Isn’t he?

Actually, no.

According to the Presidential Records Act:

“…The responsibility for the custody and management of incumbent Presidential records with the President.”

The President is allowed to dispose of records that ‘no longer have administrative, historical, informational, or evidentiary value, but:

“…Only after having sought the views of the Archivist of the United States on the proposed disposal.”

It seems doubtful that the president knows who, or indeed what an archivist is. He certainly sees no problem with deleting misspelled tweets. despite having been warned already.

Still, what do we expect from a man who has zero respect for the office he holds?

With no serious attempt to censure the president either for deleting records, or for intimidating a witness, he was back to his usual tricks just hours after Fox News had summarized the hearings for him.

When we have, as Senator Al Franken and others have repeatedly called for, an independent inquiry.

And yes, Donald, it is spelled with an ‘i’.

Watch Sally Yates school Sen. Cruz:

Featured Image Via Twitter.


I'm a full- time, somewhat unwilling resident of the planet Earth. I studied journalism at Murdoch University in West Australia and moved back to the UK where I taught politics and studied for a PhD. I've written a number of books on political philosophy that are mostly of interest to scholars. I'm also a seasoned travel writer so I get to stay in fancy hotels for free. I have a pet Lizard called Rousseau. We have only the most cursory of respect for one another.