Donald Trump has sounded off against China and Vanity Fair in his latest Twitter storm.
A 2.30am tweet by the president-elect read, "China steals United States Navy research drone in international waters - rips it out of water and takes it to China in unpresidented act." (The tweet was later reposted by someone using a different phone, with the final word corrected to "unprecedented.")
His post came amid US-China talks over the underwater drone, which was seized on Friday NZT off the coast of the Philippines.
Shortly afterward, a Chinese Defense Ministry spokesman said China was prepared to hand over the drone.
"Upon confirming that the device was a US underwater drone, the Chinese side decided to transfer it to the US side in an appropriate manner," Sr. Col. Yang Yujun said in a statement.
"China and the United States have been communicating about this process. It is inappropriate — and unhelpful for a resolution — that the US has unilaterally hyped up the issue. We express our regret over that."
His foes can claim The Donald imperiled talks that were near conclusion. The president-elect will no doubt consider he tipped the balance in America's favour (UPDATE: Trump confounded all-comers by tweeting later in the day: "We should tell China that we don't want the drone they stole back.- let them keep it!
It will be fascinating — and given he will hold the nuclear codes — exciting to see "if Mr Trump maintains his live commentary once inside the White House.
Vanity Fair magazine drew Mr Trump's fire for a review of the restaurant in Trump Tower headlined "Trump Grill could be the worst restaurant in America."
The property magnate tweeted:
Has anyone looked at the really poor numbers of @VanityFair Magazine. Way down, big trouble, dead! Graydon Carter, no talent, will be out!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 15, 2016
But while publicly listed Boeing suffered on the sharemarket after its chief executive criticised the president-elect then was hit by a Trump tweet, Vanity Fair made hay. The article was quickly moved to its home page. And it added tagline "The magazine Trump doesn't want you to read. Subscribe now!"
Editor Graydon Carter knows how to milk a controversy. Expect this co-dependent couple to keep fighting for the next four to eight years.
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