Donald Trump credits social media with election win

Donald Trump points at the gathered media during his walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21, 2016.
Donald Trump points at the gathered media during his walk through at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland on July 21, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

WASHINGTON (AFP) - President-elect Donald Trump has credited his provocative use of Twitter and other social media with helping him win the US elections, saying it gave him a way of "fighting back."

In an interview that airs in full on Sunday (Nov 13) on CBS's "60 Minutes," Trump said with some reluctance that he would be more restrained in his use of social media once in the White House, but said it was nothing to be ashamed of.

"The fact that I have such power in terms of numbers with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, et cetera, I think it helped me win all of these races where they're spending much more money than I spent. And I won," he said, in an excerpt released late Saturday.

The Republican billionaire used Twitter to mock his opponents and blast his critics during a long and tumultuous campaign that took him from joke candidate to the most powerful office in the world.

Calling it a "great form of communication," he boasted he has 28 million followers on social media, and picked up another 100,000 just the day before the interview.

"I'm not saying I love it, but it does get the word out," he told interviewer Lesley Stahl.

"When you give me a bad story or when you give me an inaccurate story or when somebody other than you - a network, or whatever, because of course, CBS would never do a thing like that, right? - I have a method of fighting back."

Asked whether he would do that as president, Trump said, "I'm going to be very restrained, if I use it at all, I'm going to be very restrained.

"I find it tremendous. It's a modern form of communication. There should be nothing we should be ashamed of. It's where it's at," he added.