Leading up to the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump proved an old adage, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity,” to be true. Or he at least proved that he can turn almost any media coverage into a positive for himself.
During his campaign, Trump drew non-stop media attention, and in the process, he received billions of dollars of publicity for free. Surprisingly, even the White House gave Trump more attention than it did to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
According to a CNBC analysis of executive tweets sent out by a dozen different Twitter accounts connected to the White House, Trump was mentioned at least 250 times, while Clinton was tweeted about less than 100 times.
Prior to December 2015, the White House accounts had only mentioned Trump a few times, but that all changed after Trump proposed a ban on Muslims entering the country.
Suddenly, Trump was being mentioned numerous times by the White House accounts, earning as many as 30 mentions in one day. Clinton, on the other hand, only received nine mentions on her best day, and some of those articles referred to both her and Trump.
Furthermore, most of the tweets about Clinton were retweets, meaning that the White House staff weren’t tweeting their own thoughts about her, but rather, posting other people’s thoughts about her. And when it came to unique tweets, Clinton received, at most, two tweets in a month.
When CNBC contacted the White House about the analysis, a White House spokesperson responded by saying, “White House tweeters have communications and legal guidelines to follow for official accounts. This has been consistent from the beginning, and there were no changes in this policy through the presidential election.”