Michael Moore vs Trump on Twitter Finally Happened
Michael Moore’s Broadway show may not have brought down a president, as its advertising tagline suggested it might. But it did distract one. On Saturday, six days after the end of the show’s run and on yet another day of high political drama, Donald Trump tweeted his ire.
“While not at all presidential,” Trump wrote, “I must point out that the Sloppy Michael Moore Show on Broadway was a TOTAL BOMB and was forced to close. Sad!”
The film-maker tweeted back 12 times, heralding the performance of his one-man show, mimicking the Trumpian idiom and attacking the president in terms similar to those he used onstage.
“You must have my smash hit of a Broadway show confused with your presidency – which IS a total bomb and WILL indeed close early,” Moore wrote. “NOT SAD.”
The Terms of My Surrender, which featured guest appearances from celebrities including Mark Ruffalo, Bryan Cranston and Gloria Steinem, closed on 22 October after a 12-week limited run which earned $4.2m and was seen by 74,484 people, according to the Broadway League. Its final week earned $367,634, or 47.2% of the house’s potential, at an average ticket price of $58.80. Moore has said he will take the show on the road next year.
Moore predicted that Trump would win the 2016 election via a “rust belt Brexit” in post-industrial northern states, the anger of white men and the weaknesses of Hillary Clinton. He is now working on a film about the Trump presidency.
A follow-up of sorts to a film he released in 2016, Michael Moore in Trumpland, the movie is called Fahrenheit 11/9. That is a reference to the day after Trump’s win in November and an inversion of the title of his film on George W Bush and the war on terror, Fahrenheit 9/11.
In June, Moore launched TrumpiLeaks, a website that seeks information on the president, its title a reference to WikiLeaks, the organisation which obtained and released Democratic party emails that proved damaging to Clinton.
On Twitter on Saturday, Moore made more sharply political points.
“Today, 1 US service member was killed & 6 injured in our never-ending war in Afghanistan. You, our President, are not even aware of this. You ARE aware I’m a ‘B’way star’ & I guess this bothers you more. SAD.”
The US military said on Saturday one of its service members died from injuries sustained in a helicopter crash in eastern Logar province, Afghanistan, on Friday night. The six injured were receiving medical treatment. The crash was not the result of enemy action, the military said. On Sunday, the soldier who died was identified as Jacob M Sims, a 36-year-old chief warrant officer from Juneau, Alaska.
Trump spent Saturday at his golf club in Virginia, to which he has traveled on four weekends in a row.
Moore continued: “Prosecutor [Robert] Mueller’s Grand Jury has just approved the 1st criminal indictments of your administration. R u trying 2 distract us from this?”
CNN, Reuters and the Wall Street Journal have reported that a grand jury has approved charges filed by Mueller, the special counsel investigating alleged collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign, and that an arrest or arrests could be made on Monday.
“38 days after Maria,” Moore wrote, “3/4 of [Puerto Rico] (our fellow Americans) have NO electricity. Yet u are more upset that so many ppl saw my B’way show. SAD.”
The White House has rejected criticism over its response to hurricane damage in Puerto Rico. This week it said it played no role in the award of a $300m contract to restore power in the US territory to a small company from the Montana home town of interior secretary Ryan Zinke.
“They say Twitter ‘distracts’ you from your presidency,” Moore wrote. “But Twitter IS YOUR PRESIDENCY! It’s all you know how to do. #LOSER! And now, for this weekend, I’m your latest distraction from your crimes. Ha! Raucous & joyous crowds every nite on B’way- & u missed out!”
Moore wrote that The Terms of My Surrender “was the highest grossing play (non-musical) of the summer, despite my offering $29 cheap seats + free student tix so ALL could afford. As announced on May 1st, it was always a ‘12-WEEK-ONLY’ run, due to my commitments to my upcoming primetime TV series & my new movie.”
According to Playbill.com, Moore’s play was “not a box-office frontrunner (grossing less than half of its potential most weeks and drawing in a capacity hovering in the mid-70 percentile)”.
Moore wrote: “On Broadway, Donald, they call it a ‘LIMITED ENGAGEMENT’ – just like we’re planning on making your presidency.”
In August, Moore led his audience to Trump Tower on Fifth Avenue, 12 blocks north-east of the Belasco Theatre, to protest the president’s reaction to deadly violence around a neo-Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
“Thanks to all who filled this beautiful theater for each show!” he wrote.
Trump did not immediately respond.