Tech Freedom President Berin Szóka announced on Friday that he would step down as the organization’s president after wondering if it would be “poetic justice” if President Donald Trump were to die of the coronavirus.
Szoka will take an indefinite sabbatical to write a book on tech policy. Shane Tews, a member of TechFreedom’s board, will take over as president.
TechFeedom receives “substantial funding” from Google and is also a part of the search giant’s “Public Policy Fellowship” program, in which Google places interns at public policy organizations, including TechFreedom.
Szoka will step down after he reportedly suggested that it would be “poetic justice” if Trump were to die of the coronavirus.
He said, “Serious question: could there possibly [sic] any greater poetic justice in the universe than for Trump to die of the #CPACvirus?”
Szoka also said that Trump would “kill his own cult members first, just like Jonestown and Waco!”
Except the joke is: Trump will kill his own cult members first
Just like Jonestown and Waco! pic.twitter.com/HYCQE4eibA
— Berin Szóka ἱ (@BerinSzoka) March 10, 2020
Many lawmakers such as Reps. Doug Collins (R-GA), Matt Gaetz (R-FL), and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) went into self-quarantine after they were exposed to the coronavirus. The reports sparked fears that the president may have also been exposed to the coronavirus.
The remarks quickly drew controversy. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) wondered how Google could “justify funding a political activist who cheers for the death of” President Trump.
— Jim Banks (@RepJimBanks) March 10, 2020
Szoka later apologized, saying, “Earlier this week, I sent a thoughtless tweet making an inappropriate comment about the President that I deeply regret. I was wrong to tweet it and deleted it. Again, I apologize.”
Szoka notably spoke to New York Times editor Sarah Jeong in 2019 to combat the notion that social media companies are censoring conservative and alternative voices on the Internet.
In 2014, Jeong tweeted several anti-white statements. The former reporter likened “dumbass fucking white people” who share their opinions to “dogs pissing on fire hydrants.”
Don’t think the Left has sold out to Big Tech & their big money? Just read. @sarahjeong @nytopinion you might want to mention your key “expert” here is paid by Google. Big time. https://t.co/ORwqaOMSJf
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) July 26, 2019
The senator also cited a recent NBC News investigation that found that many conservative and libertarian organizations, such as the R Street Institute, TechFreedom, the Cato Institute, and the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), receive donations from Google. Sen. Hawley has slammed these “supposedly libertarian” tech groups.
Hawley also contended that the left has come to “love” big corporations because many large corporations “agrees with the left” and advance the left’s progressive priorities.
Sean Moran is a congressional reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter @SeanMoran3.