Top NBC News figures are calling on Twitter to ban President Donald Trump after threatening retaliation against Iranian President Hassan Rouhani’s “demented words of violence.”
The White House on Monday blamed Rouhani for inciting a war of words with President Donald Trump, who warned that verbal threats could escalate into military conflict with the U.S. President Trump, who campaigned on a promise to bring a more hawkish approach to Iran, sent an all-caps tweet late Sunday warning of dire consequences for the longtime foe. “NEVER EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKE OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE,” the Commander-in-Chief tweeted.
To Iranian President Rouhani: NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER CONSEQUENCES THE LIKES OF WHICH FEW THROUGHOUT HISTORY HAVE EVER SUFFERED BEFORE. WE ARE NO LONGER A COUNTRY THAT WILL STAND FOR YOUR DEMENTED WORDS OF VIOLENCE & DEATH. BE CAUTIOUS!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
In response, NBC News Chief Global Correspondent Bill Neely tweeted he was “sure” the president was “violating” the terms and services of the social network giant. “As a regular citizen, try posting this about someone and see what happens- I suspect your account would be suspended,” Neely added.
MSNBC daytime anchor Stephanie Ruhle followed up on Neely’s tweet, asking Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: “Where does @realDonaldTrump’s tweet land in the universe of acceptable use of the platform?”
— Stephanie Ruhle (@SRuhle) July 23, 2018
President Trump was responding to Rouhani, who had remarked earlier in the day that “America must understand well that peace with Iran is the mother of all peace and war with Iran is the mother of all wars.” Within hours, Iran’s state-owned news agency IRNA dismissed the tweet, describing it as a “passive reaction” to Rouhani’s remarks.
On Monday, the White House said the president’s tweet shows he is not going to tolerate critical rhetoric from Iran and insisted the U.S. leader isn’t escalating tensions between the two countries. “If anybody’s inciting anything, look no further than to Iran,” press secretary Sarah Sanders said and added that President Trump has been “very clear about what he’s not going to allow to take place.”
White House National Security Adviser John Bolton echoed President Trump’s tweet in a statement Monday saying he’s spoken with his boss over the last several days and was told, “if Iran does anything at all to the negative, they will pay a price like few countries have ever paid before.”
The tweet was reverberating across the Middle East. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the president’s “strong stance” after years in which the Iranian “regime was pampered by the Obama administration and other world powers.” President Trump earlier this year pulled the U.S. out of the highly-flawed international deal meant to prevent Tehran from developing a nuclear weapon and ordered increased sanctions, as well as threatening penalties for companies from other countries that continue to do business with the terror-sponsoring Islamic regime.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.