MSNBC’s Katy Tur Lost Sleep Over Trump’s Twitter Typo, Fears Nuclear War

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On Wednesday afternoon, MSNBC anchor Katy Tur was freaking out over President Trump’s overnight Twitter typo, even to the point of absurdly warning that the commander-in-chief’s use of social media could lead to a nuclear war.

Talking to former Clinton campaign staffer Zerlina Maxwell at the end of the 1 p.m. ET hour, Tur claimed that she didn’t want to “pile on” the coverage of Trump’s “weird tweet,” but then proceeded to breathlessly ask: “...what does that say about who controls the information coming out of the White House? And what if somebody hacked into Twitter and posted a message that could have global implications? Saying something like...‘I’m going to launch nuclear weapons’?”

As Tur feared “the chain of events that something like that could set off,” Maxwell joined in the fearmongering: “Yes, this is precisely the thing that keeps me up at night, literally.” Tur interrupted and confessed: “This kept me up last night! I was up until two in the morning wondering when this tweet was going to go away.” Maxwell continued to rant: “Literally I’m afraid that Donald Trump will tweet something that will launch us into a war or a potential conflict that we won’t be able to get out of.”

Later in the 2 p.m. ET hour, Tur kept up the hand-wringing as she turned to New York Times reporter Charlie Savage: “Talk to me about the security concerns, the implications of what it means that Donald Trump has a way to communicate with America and the world that is not monitored, that is not checked?”

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Savage worried: “...we are still in this unprecedented territory where normally this extraordinarily powerful person is surrounded by these layers of, you know, aides and advisers and filters to the world and Donald Trump is a very different kind of president and has insisted on keeping this unfettered check to the internet – ”

Tur repeated her wild speculation that a tweet could spark a war:

...what if his account gets hacked and somebody posts a message saying that “We are aiming nukes at North Korea”? Is there anybody that go in there and say, “Oh, my God, no, take that down”? Is anybody monitoring this account after hours in the middle of the night? How does something like this stay up for six hours?

Here are excerpts of the May 31 coverage:

1:54 PM ET

(...)

KATY TUR: I don’t want to pile on for this tweet, you know, weird tweet that Donald Trump said – sent last night, didn’t delete for a misspelling. But the thing about it is that if something like that can stay on Twitter for six hours, what does that say about who controls the information coming out of the White House? And what if somebody hacked into Twitter and posted a message that could have global implications? Saying something like, “Donald Trump is” – or “I’m going to launch nuclear weapons” or something that just has not been vetted by national security? Zerlina, what does that say about the White House, and is it really concerning about the chain of events that something like that could set off?

ZERLINA MAXWELL [FMR. DIR. OF PROGRESSIVE MEDIA, CLINTON CAMPAIGN]: Yes, this is precisely the thing that keeps me up at night, literally. Since Trump was inaugurated –  
TUR: This kept me up last night! I was up until two in the morning wondering when this tweet was going to go away.

MAXWELL: Literally I’m afraid that Donald Trump will tweet something that will launch us into a war or a potential conflict that we won’t be able to get out of. I’m also really concerned about – we just live through a campaign where the main issue was unsecured communications of classified information. So when you hear the President of the United States – and yes, he’s new to politics, but get it together. Hire professionals that teach you exactly their appropriate processes. You can’t be handing out your cell phone number and you shouldn’t be tweeting from an unsecured phone, either.

TUR: New to politics is an excuse that only can last for so long.

MAXWELL: It only works for Donald Trump.
    
(...)

2:14 PM ET

TUR: Last thing, Charlie, let’s talk about Donald Trump’s tweet overnight. I’m not even going to try and pronounce the word that appeared on his Twitter because I just don’t think I could. People mocked him for this on Twitter for leaving this tweet up for so many hours, but that’s not the point I want to make. Talk to me about the security concerns, the implications of what it means that Donald Trump has a way to communicate with America and the world that is not monitored, that is not checked? What message could get on there that maybe a hacker could get there or what message could get on there that they might need to take away? Does anybody else have access to this account other than Donald Trump?

CHARLIE SAVAGE [NEW YORK TIMES]: Well, we do know that sometimes very sort of anodyne statements come out of that account and we think that those are written by his staffers, they don’t have the same tone as the sort of the Trump tweet that really gets attention. You’re right, though, a lot of people had fun with that bizarre tweet he put up last night and left up for many hours, but it does sort of raise – there’s a serious side to it, and part of it is just sort of what’s going on inside the President’s brain. But another part of it is also just sort of what – you know, we are still in this unprecedented territory where normally this extraordinarily powerful person is surrounded by these layers of, you know, aides and advisers and filters to the world and Donald Trump is a very different kind of president and has insisted on keeping this unfettered check to the internet –  

TUR: Yeah, but what if – you know, what if his account gets hacked? Say – just say, what if his account gets hacked and somebody posts a message saying that “We are aiming nukes at North Korea”? Is there anybody that go in there and say, “Oh, my God, no, take that down”? Is anybody monitoring this account after hours in the middle of the night? How does something like this stay up for six hours? How does someone allow the President to get embarrassed like that for six hours?

SAVAGE: Clearly someone needs to be. Maybe we need a full-time job of monitoring the President’s Twitter account, even in the middle of the night. I was thinking about another scenario earlier today, which is maybe sort of less alarming, but seems realistic. What’s preventing a hacker from seizing that account and talking down a stock? And meanwhile, they’ve sorted that stock. You can see all kinds of potential mischief that this new thing could be used for.

(...)