by WorldTribune Staff, July 14, 2019
President Donald Trump on July 11 called out Facebook, Twitter and Google for censoring conservative voices.
“And the funny thing is that, in theory, they shouldn’t be liking the other side,” Trump told an audience of conservative social media leaders. “They should be really liking our side because we’re the ones that want freedom.
“What [Democrats] are looking at is pure socialism or worse than socialism. You know there’s a word called communism, too. There’s a word called communism, and they’re trying to get socialism over the line. But these people are — this is beyond socialism to a large extent.”
The president said that every American has the right to speak “regardless of their political beliefs or affiliations. That includes [Democrats]. But they don’t have the same difficulty. They don’t get shut out.”
Trump said he has instructed his administration to “explore all regulatory solutions to protect free speech.”
“We’re going to call a big meeting of the companies in a week or two,” Trump said. “They’re all going to be here. We have a bigger voice than anybody, but we don’t get covered fairly.”
Those on hand at the July 11 social media summit for conservative online personalities and journalists included James O’Keefe of Project Veritas, Bill Ottman of Minds, and Trump supporters Diamond and Silk. The president said those who were gathered in the East Room of the White House have a combined online following of at least a half billion people.
Also in attendance were several Republican lawmakers, including Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who said social media giants “would love to shut us down.”
“They would love to shut [Trump] up more than anything else,” Hawley said. “We can’t let them. They have to quit discriminating against conservatives.”
Sen. Mark Warner, Virginia Democrat, tweeted of the Trump social media summit: “Instead of combatting Russian social media misinformation, punishing anti-competitive practices, or protecting Americans’ data and privacy, the president has invited trolls, conspiracy theorists, anti-Semites, and the whole comments section to the White House. Give me a break.”
Trump also reiterated his point that Twitter blocks access to his @realDonaldTrump account, which has 61.9 followers.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that I should have millions and millions” more followers, he said. “It used to take me a short number of days to pick up 100,000 people. Now it’s, I would say, 10 times as long.”
Lila Rose of the pro-life group Live Action said big tech has demonstrated repeated bias against the pro-life movement.
“We have been for four years banned from doing any advertising on Twitter,” she told the audience. “They told us that in order to reinstate our accounts, we’d have to stop calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and stop sharing our pro-life content. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups continue to advertise. This double standard and bias is a growing problem in Big Tech, even though they say that they are politically neutral and they don’t discriminate.”
Attendees at the July 11 summit also voiced concern that the tech giants will skew campaigns against conservatives in and Trump in the 2020 election.
“I’m very concerned that they affected the outcome of the 2018 election. And if we let them do what they’ve been doing, it’s going to affect the outcome of the 2020 election as well,” said Harmeet Dhillon, a First Amendment lawyer.
Trump said he and his advisers “certainly don’t want to stifle free speech.” But he added, “I don’t think the mainstream media is free speech because it’s so crooked.”
The president also commented on the recent attack by Antifa thugs on conservative journalist Andy Ngo.
Trump at the social media summit referred to Ngo as the “young man who just got slugged viciously” by Antifa members during a protest in Portland, Oregon.
“Do you ever notice they [Antifa] pick on certain people?” Trump asked. “I mean, he [Ngo] would tell you he’s not the toughest person in the world physically, right?”
“They don’t go after ‘Bikers for Trump,’ ” Trump continued. “They don’t go after our construction workers who love us. They don’t go after the police. They live, like, in the basement of their mom’s home. Their arms are this big [skinny].”
Trump said of the Antifa assailants, “They have the masks on and they have sticks and they hit people. They hit people in the face, in the head. But did you ever notice Antifa is never there when we have a bikers rally?”
To appreciative laughter, the president said, “They are never there when the construction workers and the unions are honoring the president. They are never around. They’re always there when you have a single guy protesting in front of a school.”
Several people were arrested during the protest at which Ngo was attacked, but Dhillon said those responsible for the attack on have not been charged. She said she plans to sue the city.