Donald Trump still doesn’t have access to his Twitter or Facebook pages thanks to the social media companies’ perfectly reasonable and perhaps even life-saving decisions to ban him after he incited the deadly January 6th Capitol insurrection.
Not surprisingly, the disgraced former president still hasn’t moved past the indignity and today he announced that he will be suing Facebook, Twitter, Google (over their Youtube), as well as their respective CEOs Mark Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey, and Sundar Pichai. According to Trump, they have violated his First Amendment rights by exercising control over their private companies. As usual, Republicans love the free market until it adversely affects them.
During his lawsuit announcement today, Trump would have been wise to strike a sane, levelheaded tone in order to support his contention that he deserves to have his social media restored. Instead, he unleashed one of his more bizarre, rambling speeches, underscoring the pressing need to make sure he never gets his accounts back.
At one point, Trump addressed his social media bans in a deeply weird way, ranting about “the sentence they took me off for.”
“It’s the most loving sentence. It’s really amazing. They could have done better, because I’ve had a lot worse,” Trump said. “I couldn’t believe that was the reason. Take a look at it. You know exactly the sentence I’m talking about, it’s become very famous. People were saying ‘really?’ Even the other side said ‘really?’”
As he so often does, Trump failed to say what this sentence was, either because he couldn’t remember or because he saw some advantage in omitting it. The reality, of course, is that Trump wasn’t banned for a “loving sentence,” he was banned for inciting and encouraging his supporters to engage in insurrection to overturn an election that he falsely claimed was stolen from him. Twitter specifically accused him of violating their rule against “Glorification of Violence.”
The weird “loving sentence” bit wasn’t the only noteworthy part of Trump’s remarks, as he also went off on a tangent about social media platforms clamping down on unfounded claims about COVID-19—something Trump himself gleefully engaged in during the early days of the outbreak by downplaying the risks posed by the virus.
“When I said it, it was like a weapon went off, a major weapon,” Trump said of his claims that COVID came from a Chinese lab. “I won’t use the word ‘weapon’ because I never use the word ‘nuclear’ but we have to be careful with our leadership because if we don’t have the proper leadership, we’re in a very perilous state.”
“So we don’t use the word ‘nuclear,’ I never use it, okay?” Trump inexplicably claimed. “Never use it. I never said it. That’s called disinformation.”
It’s unclear exactly what incident he was referring to, or what his point about the word “nuclear” was but befuddlement seems to be increasingly the rule with his man. He rambles and rambles about things that some of his most diehard supporters don’t even understand, so swamped with paranoia and self-obsession is his mind. At this rate, it’s hard to see any court siding with him against the social media companies.
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This is a staff report from former Occupy Democrats Editor in Chief Colin Taylor or contributor Rob Haffney.