Trump's Twitter attack on union boss is 'cyber bullying'

US President-elect Donald Trump derided union boss Chuck Jones on Twitter, accusing him of doing "a terrible job" and blaming him for the decisions by companies that ship US jobs overseas.
US President-elect Donald Trump derided union boss Chuck Jones on Twitter, accusing him of doing "a terrible job" and blaming him for the decisions by companies that ship US jobs overseas.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON • Thirty years as a union boss in Indiana have given Mr Chuck Jones a thick skin. But even threats to shoot him or burn his house down did not quite prepare him for becoming the target of a verbal takedown by the next president of the United States.

In what one Republican strategist described as "cyber bullying", President-elect Donald Trump derided Mr Jones on Twitter, accusing him of doing "a terrible job" and blaming him for the decisions by companies that ship US jobs overseas.

The tweet from the President-elect on Wednesday, and a second one urging Mr Jones to "spend more time working - less time talking", continued Mr Trump's pattern of digital assaults, most of them aimed at his political rivals, reporters or female accusers.

With the full power of the presidency just weeks away, Mr Trump's decision to single out Mr Jones for ridicule has drawn condemnation from historians and White House veterans.

"When you attack a man for living an ordinary life in an ordinary job, it is bullying," said Ms Nicolle Wallace, who was communications director for former president George W. Bush.

Presidential historian Robert Dallek called the verbal attack unprecedented and said: "It's beneath the dignity of the office. He doesn't seem to understand that."

The tweets came after Mr Jones, on CNN programme Erin Burnett OutFront, challenged the President-elect's claims to have saved 1,100 jobs in Indiana at Carrier from being shipped overseas and said that 350 of those jobs were already staying in the US.

Mr Trump's message to his 17 million Twitter followers set off threats and other harassing calls to Mr Jones.

NYTIMES

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 10, 2016, with the headline 'Trump's Twitter attack on union boss is 'cyber bullying''. Print Edition | Subscribe