Harris Asks Twitter To Suspend Trump’s Account

Senator Kamala Harris / Getty Images
• October 2, 2019 11:10 am


Presidential candidate Kamala Harris has asked Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to suspend President Donald Trump's account, claiming he has violated the social media platform's user agreement.

Sen. Harris (D., Calif.) took issue with Trump's tweets criticizing the Ukraine whistleblower and House Intelligence Committee chairman Rep. Adam Schiff (D., Calif.). She said the president's social media posts were "blatant threats," pointing to a tweet in which Trump quoted a pastor's prediction that impeachment would result in a "Civil War like fracture."

"These are blatant threats. We need a civil society, not a civil war," Harris said in the letter. "These tweets represent a clear intent to baselessly discredit the whistleblower and officials in our government who are following the proper channels to report allegations of presidential impropriety, all while making blatant threats that put people at risk and our democracy in danger."

The letter says Twitter should treat Trump the same way it has treated other controversial figures, citing the suspensions or outright bans of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, former hedge fund manager Martin Shkreli, and actor James Woods.

"Others have had their accounts suspended for less offensive behavior," Harris said. "And when this kind of abuse is being spewed from the most powerful office in the United States, the stakes are too high to do nothing."

In July, a federal appeals court ruled that Trump's Twitter account qualified for First Amendment protection because the president uses it to communicate with the public and allows for public comment on his tweets. The decision stated the president could not block users he disagreed with because his account is a public forum for as long as he holds office.

Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D., Hawaii), who challenged Harris's record as a prosecutor in the July Democratic debate, disagreed that Trump's account should be suspended. "I think freedom of speech is something that is an important, foundational, right in our democracy," Gabbard said.

Harris's national press secretary accused Gabbard of parroting Fox News talking points by defending the right to free speech.

Twitter has not commented on the letter yet, according to Axios.