WASHINGTON (AFP) - President-elect Donald Trump's habit of firing off tweets, even at such critical times as when forming a new government, is a harmless and legitimate way to "cut through the noise," one of his top advisors said on Monday (Nov 21).
Mr Trump was known during the campaign for staccato bursts of Twitter activity, often in the middle of the night, in which he attacked perceived enemies like Mrs Hillary Clinton and other politicians and news organisations such as the New York Times.
The Republican billionaire, who has credited social media for helping him pull off his upset victory, had indicated he would be "very restrained" in his presidential tweeting.
But so far there is little sign he is holding back.
This weekend, Mr Trump locked horns on Twitter with the cast of the Broadway hit Hamilton after it read a statement to Vice-President-elect Mike Pence - who was attending a performance in New York - expressing worry that Mr Trump's administration will not respect US racial, social and cultural diversity.
Trump demanded an apology and called the play "highly overrated". He also criticised the comedy show Saturday Night Live for what he called a biased and unfunny lampooning of him.
Trump strategist Kellyanne Conway was asked on Monday on CNN if this kind of behaviour was not a distracting waste of time for an American president, especially at a critical time like this.
"Why do you care? Who is to say he can't do that, make a comment, spend five minutes on a tweet and making a comment and still be president-elect?" she said.
"He has over 25 million followers on Facebook and Twitter and it's a great way for him to take his message directly to people and cut through the noise or silence," she told CNN, the latter referring to what she said was news organisations' failure to cover what Mr Trump is actually getting done as he prepares to take power in January.
She also criticised news organisations for their coverage of how he uses social media.
Mr Trump, she said, is "just trying to cut through the nonsense of people telling Americans what is important to them, which we saw through the elections wasn't true. People constantly being told this issue, this statement, this past transgression is important to you - and Americans said, 'No, it's not'."