TRUMP WOULDN’T BE TRUMP without social media, and he wouldn’t be what he is on social media without Dan Scavino. A former caddie at Trump’s Westchester golf club, Scavino has risen through the ranks to become the president’s director of social media. Yes, Trump has a director of social media. And yes, he used to be his caddie.
Scavino, who first latched onto Trump’s coattails in 1990, presumably while handing him a five iron, is a true believer. In fact, Savino has a reputation for being amongst the most loyal of Trump’s willing executioners. He is daily tied to POTUS’ massive hip, filming events for broadcast on the White House’s official Facebook page, and often tweeting from Trump’s own account.
Scavino is so good at Trump-speak that it’s sometimes difficult to tell which tweets actually come from the president himself. Though we do know that he’s been responsible for some of Trump’s greatest hits, including the infamous picture of Hillary Clinton with a Star of David, which was quickly deleted following accusations of anti-Semitism. He’s also been instrumental in Trump’s many attacks on prominent Muslims, including London’s mayor Sadiq Khan.
To read Scavino’s own Twitter feed is like sifting through the mind of a less popular though equally unhinged Donald Trump. Like his boss, Scavino is defensive and quick to belittle those who criticize the White House. Loser Billy (Bill Kristol), Dummy Don (Don Lemon), and Lyin’ Leakin’ Susan Rice are just a few examples. And while, reportedly, much of the White House staff has tried (and failed) to curtail Trump’s Twitter outbursts, it’s Scavino who’s been cheering him on.
Scavino represents the worst type of the Trump administration’s many minions. In terms of bootlicking he is nearly in a class all by himself. Outside of a brief stint at Coca-Cola, his life has been completely devoted to Donald Trump, and in trying to outdo his lickspittle competition he encourages Trump’s worst instincts. Every single time Trump has derailed his own agenda with a tweet you can be sure Scavino was close by.
Other presidents have been served by sycophants to be sure, but Scavino is especially dangerous precisely because of the president he serves. Trump is a pure-bred narcissist with a dangerous disregard for the rule of law. He either doesn’t understand democracy or else doesn’t respect democracy. And so when Trump is likely to be swayed by the last voice in the room, especially when that voice is one of blind encouragement, Scavino ranks among the most powerful, and frighteningly influential, caddies in the history of the world.
The true villains in history, certainly in the last century, wouldn’t have been able to achieve infamy without armies of toadies ready to carry out their most deranged wishes, or, worse, what their lackeys perceived to be their master’s wishes. Strongmen don’t have to sign memos ordering mass executions or arrests, they need only to create the environment in which such acts are rewarded.
In the race for Trump’s notoriously fickle gaze, the competition is fierce, and Scavino has proved himself willing to go to great lengths. When not retweeting Nazis or encouraging attacks on minorities, Scavino has recently turned his sights on Trump’s political opponents. Just last month Scavino was reprimanded by the Office of Special Counsel for violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits senior members of the executive branch from interfering in elections, after he took to social media to call for the ouster of Rep. Justin Amash, a wayward Republican from Michigan.
You may think bad tweets and ethical infractions are a long way from violations of civil rights, but power is corrupting especially when in the hands of fools. And in Trumpland, Dan Scavino may just be the court jester.