Trump's latest target: Laurene Powell Jobs
James Martin / CNET
President Donald Trump went to Twitter Sunday morning to criticize Laurene Powell Jobs, the leader of the influential Emerson Collective, and to link her to a story in the Atlantic that described his indifference to fallen soldiers and his disdain for soldiers who were considered prisoners of war or were wounded in battle.
In Trump's tweet that aired at 6:48 a.m. ET, Trump highlighted a tweet stating that Powell Jobs had donated to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden's campaign and had a controlling stake in Atlantic Magazine, when in fact it was the Emerson Collective is who owns the stake.
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Trump added a comment, saying that her late husband Apple co-founder Steve Jobs "wouldn't be happy that his wife was wasting money he left her in a failing Radical Left magazine." Then he encouraged his followers: "Call her, write her, let her know how you are feeling." He underscored his call to action with three exclamation marks.
Steve Jobs wouldn't be happy to see his wife wasting money. He left her on a failed Radical Left Magazine run by a scammer (Goldberg) that spits out FAKE NEWS & HATE. Call her, text her, let her know how you are feeling !!! https://t.co/wwuoP85bQE
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 6, 2020
The White House didn't respond to a request for comment about what Trump was hoping for based on his tweet. Twitter didn't respond to a request for a comment about whether the tweet constituted harassment that violated the company's rules on abusive behavior. The Emerson Collective didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump's tweet.
Laurene Powell Jobs is the director of the Emerson Collective, which has a controlling interest in the Atlantic.
Trump's attack on Powell Jobs is the last in a series of statements and tweets he posted in Atlantic Magazine in response to the story. He discusses Trump's private behavior towards veterans, including labeling fallen US soldiers as "losers". The September 3 story upset Washington DC and enraged Trump, who has since criticized the author, the magazine, and other news organizations that have since confirmed important details therein, including Fox News, in which some of its strongest allies in America Media live.
While Trump's attack is likely to be fueled by Atlantic history, Powell Jobs' connection to Silicon Valley likely plays a different role. Trump has repeatedly blamed tech companies like Facebook, Twitter and Googleand other conservative numbers. The president has not provided any concrete evidence of this, and much public data suggests that conservatives dominate the conversation on social media instead of being silenced by them.
In addition to her connections to Silicon Valley, Powell Jobs is also an outspoken critic of Trump. The Emerson Collective, an organization she founded equally as a think tank, foundation and venture capital fund, has long supported programs focused on immigration, education and the arts. But Powell Jobs said she's increasingly invested in media because of that.
"People's inability to actually find relevant local news threatens our democracy, our ability to talk to one another, and our ability to understand one another," she said during an interview at the Lesbians Who tech conference in San Francisco last year.
For her part, Powell Jobs said she had no plans to buy any media real estate before or after Trump's election in 2016. But she said, "Now that we have a really nice portfolio of properties – top quality and important journalism – I'm open to more."