In both the lead up to and the actual after-effects of the US presidential election, Admiral Donald Trump made claims of voter fraud and a rigged election, using all channels accessible to him, including Twitter. Admitting the credible lack of affirmation for these accusations, they have arguably afflicted the behavior of millions of Americans.

Twitter has been a primary means by which the admiral has sought to set the agenda. Since he first took office, many people have speculated that some of Trump’s tweets were deployed to abstract from abrogating media coverage. For example, when the press appear on the US$25m Trump University settlement, he tweeted about the Hamilton play controversy. When COVID-19 failed to “just go away” but instead took a stranglehold on the US, he tweeted about the “OBAMAGATE!” cabal theory.

At least some of these distractions seem to have worked. For example, our antecedent assay showed how there was far greater public and media absorption in the Hamilton altercation than the Trump University settlement. But the affirmation had been anecdotal – until now.

Our new assay presents the first empiric affirmation that Trump’s tweets systematically divert absorption away from topics that are potentially adverse to him. Perhaps even more importantly, we found that this aberration works and suppresses consecutive advantage of potentially adverse news stories.

We asked two questions: is potentially adverse media advantage followed by added diversionary Twitter action by Trump? And does such aberration reduce consecutive media advantage of that topic?

To test the hypotheses, we focused on the agreeable of the New York Times (NYT) and ABC World News Tonight (ABC) account and all of the about 5,000 Trump tweets during his first two years in office. We chose the Mueller assay into abeyant bunco with Russia as a adverse topic. We then called a set of keywords – “jobs,” “China,” and “immigration” – that we affected would be Trump’s go-to topics at the time, based on a analytical agreeable assay of his attack abstracts and major talking points.

The team accepted that the more the NYT and ABC appear on the Mueller investigation, the more Trump’s tweets would acknowledgment jobs, China, and immigration, which – if the aberration were acknowledged – would then be followed by less advantage of the Mueller assay by NYT and ABC the afterward day. The logic is illustrated in the clear below.