President Donald Trump took to Twitter Sunday morning to criticize Laurene Powell Jobs, head of the influential Emerson Collective, tying her to a story in The Atlantic that described his indifference to fallen soldiers and his disdain for soldiers taken as prisoners of war or wounded in battle.
In Trump’s tweet, sent at 6:48 a.m. ET, he highlighted a tweet that said Powell Jobs donated to Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s campaign and had a majority stake in The Atlantic magazine, though it’s actually the Emerson Collective that owns the stake.
Trump added commentary, saying her late husband Apple co-founder Steve Jobs “would not be happy that his wife is wasting money he left her on a failing Radical Left Magazine.” He then encouraged his followers to, “Call her, write her, let her know how you feel.” He punctuated his call to action with three exclamation points.
A Twitter spokeswoman said the tweet did not violate the company’s rules against abusive behavior. “We’ll continue to prioritize removing content when it has a clear call to action that could directly pose risk to people’s health or wellbeing.”
The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment about what Trump hoped would happen as a result of his tweet. The Emerson Collective didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about Trump’s tweet.
Trump’s attack toward Powell Jobs is the latest in a series of statements and tweets he’s published in response to the story in The Atlantic magazine, discussing Trump’s private behavior toward veterans, including calling fallen US soldiers “losers.” The Sept. 3 story roiled Washington DC and enraged Trump, who’s since criticized the author, the magazine and other news organizations that latter confirmed key details in it — including Fox News, which is home to some of his staunchest allies in American media.
Trump’s latest target: Laurene Powell Jobs
Though Trump’s attack is likely fueled by the Atlantic story, Powell Jobs’ connection to Silicon Valley likely plays another part. Trump has repeatedly accused tech companies such as Facebook, Twitter and Google of attempting to censor him and other conservative figures. The president hasn’t offered any concrete evidence this is happening, and much of public data suggests conservatives dominate conversations on social media rather than being silenced by it.
In addition to her connections with Silicon Valley, Powell Jobs is also an outspoken critic of Trump. The Emerson Collective, an organization she founded as equal parts think tank, foundation and venture capital fund, has long supported programs focused on immigration, education and art. But Powell Jobs said she’s increasingly invested in media because she’s worried about democracy.
“The lack of ability for people to actually find relevant local news is putting our democracy at risk, putting our ability to converse with each other at risk, putting our ability to understand each other at risk,” she said during an interview at the Lesbians Who Tech conference in San Francisco last year.
For her part, Powell Jobs said she initially didn’t intend to buy stakes in media properties before Trump’s election in 2016, and subsequent attacks on the press. But, she said, “Now that we have a really beautiful portfolio of properties — superhigh quality and important journalism — I’m open to more.”
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