WASHINGTON – Donald Trump credits social media with a key role in his upset victory in the U.S. presidential election and may continue to use it once he takes office, though he plans to be more circumspect.
“I’m going to be very restrained, if I use it at all, I’m going to be very restrained,” Trump said in an interview that will run in full on CBS’s “60 Minutes” on Sunday. “I find it tremendous. It’s a modern form of communication. There should be nothing we should be ashamed of.”
The Republican said his social media presence gave him greater leverage than the hundreds of millions of dollars spent on advertising by Democrats ahead of the Nov. 8 election. Democrat Hillary Clinton’s campaign far outraised Trump’s, and spent much more on television ads.
“It’s a great form of communication,” Trump said in a partial transcript provided by the network. “It does get the word out.” Twitter is a “method of fighting back” from a bad or inaccurate story, Trump said.
The former property developer, now president-elect, clearly keeps close tabs on his social media following.
“I’m picking up now, I think I picked up yesterday 100,000 people,” said Trump, who currently has 14.8 million followers for his Twitter handle, @realDonaldTrump. Clinton, who lost Tuesday’s election but won the popular vote, has 11 million Twitter followers.
As protests, some violent, continued around the country against his election, Trump returned to social media to strike an optimistic note. “This will prove to be a great time in the lives of ALL Americans. We will unite and we will win, win, win!” Trump said Saturday in his most recent tweet — number 33,981 since he joined the platform in 2009.
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