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As he heads into the political fight of his life, President Trump’s go-to Twitter weapon may be failing him.

Not only is Twitter itself increasingly attaching warnings and disclaimers to Trump’s tweets, his social media postings continue to generate controversy and criticism, most recently when he retweeted a video in which a supporter used the phrase “white power.

” He then deleted the tweet, and the White House said he had not heard the phrase.

Even many Republicans worry Trump’s online behavior may be doing more harm than good to his reelection prospects.

“Twitter has long been a strong tool that allowed the president to dictate the media narrative and make himself the center of attention almost every day,” said Republican strategist Mike DuHaime. “But over the course of his term, his instincts and mistakes on Twitter have often brought him off message and made him often look unfocused and small, like a very average politician on Twitter instead of the president of the United States.”

An Economist/YouGov poll released earlier this month found that 63% think Trump tweets too much, and 38% believe nothing he posts on the platform. Only 7% said they believed everything Trump says on Twitter.

With the significant exception of the protesters being cleared out of Lafayette Park before a presidential walk to St. John’s Church, most of what Trump did to arouse controversy after the death of George Floyd took place on Twitter. His scripted public pronouncements walked a careful line of expressing sympathy for peaceful protests, outrage at Floyd’s treatment in police custody while stopping short of accusing law enforcement of systemic racism, and opposition to rioting and looting.

But to many, Trump’s response to the Floyd protests has been defined by him tweeting “when the looting starts, the shooting starts,” drawing a rebuke from the website for violating its terms of service through the “glorification of violence” and amplifying speculation that an elderly protester who was hospitalized after being knocked unconscious by police was an antifa provocateur. A top GOP communications specialist called the latter a “bizarre conspiracy theory.”

Since civil unrest has broken out across the country over Floyd, Trump has fallen further behind in the race against Democratic challenger Joe Biden and received generally low marks for his handling of the episode. Six in ten people in the U.S. say Trump’s message has been completely or mostly wrong, according to the Pew Research Center, including 85% of black adults. The Trump campaign has been trying to grow the president’s share of the black vote, but only 13% of this demographic approves of his post-Floyd messaging.

Trump built up a huge social media following as a businessman and reality TV star before entering politics, commenting prolifically on celebrities and current events. He currently has 82.5 million Twitter followers, a total likely to exceed the number of votes received by the winning presidential candidate in November. His unvarnished tweets, clearly not written or vetted by a professional social media team in most cases, helped him bond with his supporters as he sought the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. Trump continued to tweet in this manner even after arriving at the White House. “Executive time” on his daily schedule is widely assumed to be synonymous with tweeting time.

Republican congressional leaders, often the targets of Trump Twitter barbs during his first year in office, frequently said they wished the president would tweet less. Most now avoid trying to comment on his Twitter activity. Attorney General William Barr has publicly said Trump’s tweets about pending Justice Department matters make his job more difficult. Trump has defended his tweets as a necessary defense against a biased and dishonest media.

But Twitter also feeds the concerns about Trump’s temperament that have helped turn suburban, college-educated voters against him. Softer Trump supporters like many of his policies but profess to be bothered by the tweets. And some harder-core backers are noticing discrepancies between tough talk in tweets and more conventional administration action, such as tweeting in support of anti-lockdown protesters while largely heeding Dr. Anthony Fauci’s lockdown advice.

All this is happening against the backdrop of increasing Trump spats with Twitter itself, which has led to some supporters fleeing the platform for Parler, a social media site where many conservatives have taken up residence. The White House is also exploring policies to combat alleged social media discrimination against conservatives.

“Trump’s Twitter timeline is no longer a vehicle to get out his message to his supporters as it is a complete record memorializing his indifference, shallowness, incompetence, and stupidity,” said Republican strategist Rick Tyler, who is often critical of the president. But elements of this sentiment are shared by those who would like to see Trump reelected.

“His constant rants about the press and others ‘who are out to get him’ do not get him votes,” said a Washington, D.C.-based GOP operative. “In fact, his insults are turning voters he once had completely off.”

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AccuWeather forecast: Patchy coastal fog returns overnight

Some patchy coastal fog returns after midnight but our marine layer remains pretty compressed. For most it is a moonlit sky tonight with lows in the low to upper 50s.

VIDEO: Meteorologist Drew Tuma has your AccuWeather forecast

Monday will see cooler and breezier weather arrive with highs in the low 60s to upper 80s under sunny skies.

Santa Rosa 86
San Francisco 65
Oakland 73
San Jose 79
Concord 87

Tonight: Patchy Fog
Lows: Low 50s
Tomorrow: Partly Sunny
Highs: Low 60s to Upper 70s

North Bay:
Tonight: Clear Skies
Lows: Low 50s
Tomorrow: Sunny
Highs: Low 70s to Mid 80s

East Bay:
Tonight: Patchy Fog
Lows: Mid 50s
Tomorrow: Sunny
Highs: Low 70s

East Bay Valleys:
Tonight: Clear Skies
Lows: Mid to Upper 50s
Tomorrow: Sunny
Highs: Low to Upper 80s

Tonight: Clear Skies
Lows: Low to Mid 50s
Tomorrow: Sunny
Highs: Low to Mid 70s

South Bay:
Tonight: Clear Skies
Lows: Low to Mid 50s
Tomorrow: Sunny
Highs: Upper 70s to Mid 80s

Some morning coastal fog leading to a sunny afternoon with highs in the low 60s to upper 80s.

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