President Donald Trump told Breitbart News that it would be “very dangerous” for Twitter to try to shut down his account, @RealDonaldTrump, before the election.
“We’ll see what happens,” Trump said when asked if he was concerned that Twitter might try to shutter his account and what he would do in response. “It would be a very dangerous thing to do, especially since I’m very careful with what I write.”
Trump’s comments came during a nearly 30-minute Oval Office exclusive interview with Breitbart News on Monday afternoon. Trump’s comments are particularly newsworthy given that former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive 2020 Democrat presidential nominee, selected Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) as his running mate on Tuesday afternoon. Harris has sought previously to ban Trump’s Twitter account.
Harris argued in late 2019, as House Democrats conducted their impeachment inquiry into President Trump, that Twitter should ban the president from tweeting about witnesses to the matter. While Trump was eventually acquitted in full by the Senate after the House Democrats’ partisan impeachment inquiry, Harris was publicly calling on Twitter to stop Trump from tweeting about the witnesses who were testifying in the House investigation.
While Trump himself has not yet been shut down, several top conservatives—including Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr., his spokesman Andy Surabian, Breitbart News’s official account, the president’s campaign account @TeamTrump, and many more—have had their accounts temporarily locked in recent weeks by Twitter. Twitter has, however, added appendages to several of Trump’s personal tweets, “fact checking” them or adding extra information or disclaimers.
President Trump has made Twitter one of his primary means of communicating with the American public. His tweets have outraged some and fired up others, as the country is sharply divided along fierce partisan lines about what the president says and comments on via Twitter. He regularly breaks news on Twitter, and tweets what he thinks about major news events. He also regularly endorses Republican candidates for public office in tweets. All of this makes Trump’s Twitter feed one of the most must-read sources in American politics.
Trump’s comments about Twitter also come as he warned during this interview that big tech companies in Silicon Valley are “100 percent” trying to control what information Americans see.
“The tech companies are very dishonest about that and about free speech,” Trump told Breitbart News. “It could be a big problem for them at the appropriate time.”
What’s also notable is that Twitter has banned political advertising entirely on its platform. “We’ve made the decision to stop all political advertising on Twitter globally. We believe political message reach should be earned, not bought,” Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey said in the fall of 2019, as Breitbart News reported at the time.