The Trump administration is poised to take on “Big Tech” in its final days in power, according to a “White House advisor” who spoke to media on Sunday, per CNN.
The president is looking to use “his permanent suspension from Twitter as an opportunity to shift the narrative away from the insurrection on Capitol Hill earlier in the week” and refocus attention on censorship of conservative ideas and conservative commentators on major social media platforms.
President Donald Trump’s Twitter and Facebook accounts were suspended late last week, and over the weekend, other social media platforms like Pinterest and Shopify pledged to purge the president’s accounts from their platforms as well. On Saturday, Amazon announced that it would remove the Twitter alternative network, Parler, from its web services over concerns the platform was being used to plot further attacks on government buildings in Washington, D.C.
In each case, the platforms used “incitement” as an excuse, removing the accounts over concerns they could be used to drum up support or to organize similar attacks to the one that took place at the United States Capitol last week. As The Daily Wire reported earlier Sunday, however, in some cases, the purge has inspired left-leaning commentators to seek the removal of conservative reporters, many of whom are far removed from Wednesday’s events.
The White House advisor who spoke to CNN said that aides are telling the president to use his Twitter ban as “an opportunity to reignite arguments of anti-conservative bias on social media” and to reframe the incident as an attack on his supporters.
“This isn’t just about President Trump, but this is literally about the 75 million Americans” who voted for the president, the aide told the network.
If Trump refocuses on social media platforms, he’ll have interesting company. The ACLU raised concerns about the “unchecked power” of social media networks back on Friday, according to Newsweek, shortly after Twitter permanently suspended the president’s account.
“For months, President Trump has been using social media platforms to seed doubt about the results of the election and to undermine the will of voters,” ACLU senior legislative counsel Kate Ruane said in a statement. “We understand the desire to permanently suspend him now, but it should concern everyone when companies like Facebook and Twitter wield the unchecked power to remove people from platforms that have become indispensable for the speech of billions – especially when political realities make those decisions easier.”
For President Trump, however, it is unlikely that an administration refocus will direct attention away from his troubles. Democrats are expected to introduce new articles of impeachment on Monday — several individual Democrats, it seems, are competing to be the first to offer their own draft articles — and a “source close” to Vice President Mike Pence told media Saturday that Pence has “not ruled out” triggering the 25th Amendment, though it remains “highly unlikely” that Pence will make the move, given that it could take up to two weeks to complete the process and Trump will be out of office on January 20th.