White House hits back after Twitter cracks down on Trump's Minneapolis tweet, reposts censored message
The White House on Friday pushed back against Twitter after the social media giant censored a tweet by President Trump threatening action against rioters in Minneapolis -- with Trump accusing the company of double standards, as his team moved to get around Twitter's restrictions.
“Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!” Trump tweeted.
On Friday the morning, White House’s official Twitter account responded by reposting the censored tweet in full -- it too was in turn slapped with a warning label by Twitter.
White House official Dan Scavino also tweeted Friday: “Twitter is targeting the President of the United States 24/7, while turning their heads to protest organizers who are planning, plotting, and communicating their next moves daily on this very platform. Twitter is full of s--t - more and more people are beginning to get it.”
Trump and Twitter had sparred a day earlier when the company slapped a warning label on a Trump tweet about voter fraud. Trump later signed an executive order calling for regulations that would limit liability protections for social media companies.
The fight escalated overnight when Trump tweeted about the riots in Minneapolis in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody -- which protesters are alleging is the latest instance of police brutality against black men. The riots had sparked after video footage was released showing a police officer kneeling on Floyd’s neck.
As the riots tore through the city for a second night, Trump warned that if local politicians didn’t get the city under control, the federal government would intervene.
“These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!”
Twitter swiftly responded by adding a disclaimer that hides the message until users click "view."
"This Tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the Tweet to remain accessible," the disclaimer read.
Critics on Twitter said Trump's comments had racial undertones and said the term "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" can be traced back to Miami Police Chief Walter Headley in 1967 as a threat to black protestors during the civil rights movement.
When asked for comment, Twitter pointed to a thread explaining the decision.
"This Tweet violates our policies regarding the glorification of violence based on the historical context of the last line, its connection to violence, and the risk it could inspire similar actions today," Twitter Comms wrote. "We've taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the Tweet on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the Tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance."
Trump, meanwhile, kept up his anger at the social media company, pointing to an alleged double standard and noting that statements by Democrats and the World Health Organization had suffered no such notification.
“What about all of the lies and fraudulent statements made by Adam Schiff, and so many others, on the Russian Witch Hunt Plus, Plus, Plus? What about China’s propaganda? WHO’s mistakes? No flags?”
Trump adviser Dan Scavino was even more blunt in his description of the social media giant’s conduct, comparing to the lack of action being taken by those fomenting unrest in Minneapolis.
“Twitter is targeting the President of the United States 24/7, while turning their heads to protest organizers who are planning, plotting, and communicating their next moves daily on this very platform,” he tweeted.
“Twitter is full of s**t - more and more people are beginning to get it.”
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.