NEW YORK — Melania Trump controls what her 10-year-old son can do on social media — but her husband, Donald, is another matter.
The wife of the Republican presidential front-runner said Tuesday he is “an adult and he knows the consequences” of his prolific and sometimes inflammatory Twitter use.
She was asked by CNN’s Anderson Cooper if she ever tried to get Trump to put his phone away and rein in his social media activity.
“Anderson, if he would only listen. I do say it many times,” she replied, after revealing that she doesn’t let their young son, Barron, on Twitter.
Trump, who has 7.5 million Twitter followers and nearly as many on Facebook, boasted about his social media prowess, saying it gives him a huge advantage over his rivals while marveling at its great reach.
“I really enjoy doing it but it’s an asset,” he said. “You see what’s going on and there is some genius there. You just have to find the right genius.”
Trump, who said he would sharply curtail but not eliminate his Twitter use if elected president, acknowledged that his retweets of supporters comments have gotten him in trouble. He has come under fire several times for his Twitter usage, most recently when he retweeted an unflattering photo of Heidi Cruz, the wife of Republican rival Ted Cruz.
But Trump insisted that he composes his own tweets and doesn’t run any posts past an adviser or focus group.
“During the day when I’m in the office, I just shout it out to one of the young ladies in the office,” who then does the typing, Trump said. But “during the evenings, after 7 p.m. or so, I will always do it by myself.”
The Twitter revelations came near the end of an hour-long town hall in which Trump was joined by his Slovenian-born wife, a former model, and his four grown children. Trump ceded centre stage for much of the evening, as his children answered a dozen question from the New York City audience and attempted to cast a warm, humanizing light on their sometimes abrasive father.
Ivanka Trump, who gave birth two weeks ago, spoke eloquently about her father, who is aiming to decisively win the primary next week in his home state of New York, increasing the chances that he can clinch the Republican presidential nomination before the party’s convention this summer.
“We know what he’s capable of,” Ivanka Trump said. “And we know what he could bring to the country, so we’re just happy to support him.”