Dominion Voting Systems seeks $1.3 billion for the “unprecedented harm” it says Powell brought on by accusing the firm of rigging the 2020 election. President Trump addressed the American people in his first message since the reactivation of some of his social media accounts.
Businessman and Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary defended free speech in light of President Trump ’s suspension from multiple social media platforms. Republicans expressed outrage with the mainstream media for suggesting a “cleansing” of the 75 million voters who supported President Trump.
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The president’s account, with 88 million followers, was initially banned for 12 hours on Wednesday due to “severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy,” after he used the platform to condemn Vice President Mike Pence as his supporters stormed the Capitol. Almost immediately, the account that Trump had used for years to convey his every thought, to denounce his enemies and praise his friends, to convey uncountable false statements and official White House announcements, simply disappeared.
“However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules and cannot use Twitter to incite violence,” the post continued. An employee at Twitter who has been pushing for the company to delete the president’s account this week told NBC News that “leadership took a beating” at a meeting Friday morning with employees, many of whom pleaded with executives to delete his account.
Twitter removed three tweets that promoted conspiracy theories about the election and locked Trump ’s account on Wednesday, citing “a risk of violence,” after a violent riot at the Capitol. Trump ’s official POTUS account is still active, but if the company determines he’s using it to evade the ban, it will take action to limit its use, a Twitter spokesperson said in a statement.
About two hours after his ban, Trump did turn to the official POTUS account, railing against Twitter, Democrats, and “the Radical Left,” in a series of tweets that were quickly deleted. In the blog post, Twitter cited Trump ’s two most recent tweets as an explanation for the permanent suspension.
Taken together, the company determined, they were “likely to inspire others to replicate the violent acts that took place on January 6, 2021, and that there are multiple indicators that they are being received and understood as encouragement to do so.” Big Tech wants to cancel all 75M @realDonaldTrump supporters,” tweeted Jason Miller, a senior adviser to Trump's 2020 campaign.
Nikki Haley, the former ambassador to the United Nations, tweeted : “Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country. He has long favored Twitter as a means of communicating his policies, opinions and grievances directly to supporters while circumventing the traditional media.
But after his election in 2016, Trump told “60 Minutes” correspondent Lesley Stahl that as president he would use the platform differently. Trump was not restrained, using his account to make ad hominem attacks against political opponents and announce public firings, posts that were widely criticized as presidential but allowed by Twitter.
Just days after Wednesday’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the Leigh University Board of Trustees has rescinded the honorary degree granted to President Donald Trump three decades ago, a move sought by many members of the school community since Trump won the White House. The move follows a statement by Leigh’s president, John Simon, who on Thursday said the actions of the mob that disrupted the certification of Joe Biden’s election victory was “a violent assault on the foundations of our democracy.” Simon’s statement didn’t mention Trump.
Michael Reynosa, a professor of religion studies, was part of the 2018 group that pushed the school to rescind the degree. “I feel really gratified we’re finally unhooking Leigh from Donald Trump and no longer honoring this man, but it’s bittersweet because it took so long,” he said.
Trump talked about the challenge the graduates would face because of a pandemic: AIDS, which he listed as an “obstacle” to their success, along with drug and alcohol abuse. He also referred to Bill Cosby, who had given an address when receiving an honorary degree from Leigh the year before.
The school revoked the degree in 2015 after he Cosby was deposed in a lawsuit but before he had been convicted of indecent assault, saying his admissions in the deposition were “inconsistent with the character and high standards” expected of honorees. “We were supporting other statements saying Trump doesn’t represent Leigh’s principles of an equitable community and his actions aren’t the type Leigh should support,” said Hank Portray, a senior and a vice president of leadership in the student Senate.
Robert Foster, an Allentown resident and retired Palmerston Area School District superintendent, was in the audience as a doctoral candidate when Trump was awarded the degree. Trump ’s bestselling book “The Art of the Deal” had recently come out, and some people thought he was admirable.
UPDATE, 11:44 AM PT: Donald Trump urged protesters at the Capitol to “stay peaceful,” but he did not instruct them to disperse from the complex, where his supporters have breached the barricades and have been wandering through some halls near House and Senate chambers. Earlier on Wednesday, Trump, speaking to a rally at the Ellipse, urged his backers to march to the Capitol as a joint session of Congress to count the electoral votes.
UPDATE, 11:20 AM PT: The Senate and House recessed as pro- Donald Trump demonstrators breached security barricades and have been trying to get into the Capitol, where lawmakers have been counting the Electoral College votes. CNN’s Many AJU reported that protesters reached areas just off the Senate floor, having made their way up the steps on the west side of the Capitol, which is usually off limits.
UPDATE, 11:00 AM PT: As both chambers of Congress met to count electoral votes, there was unrest outside the Capitol as supporters of Donald Trump attempted to break through police barricades. Lawmakers also reported that the Cannon office building was being evacuated, with people being urged to go into tunnels below the structure.
On CBS News, correspondent Kris Van Clever said that “you are seeing some folks show up in combat helmets in what appears to be body armor. Earlier, Trump, speaking to thousands gathered at the Ellipse, urged his supporters to head to the Capitol afterward, and he even suggested that he would go with them.
PREVIOUSLY: A joint session of Congress gathered to count the Electoral College vote on Wednesday, in what was expected to be raucous proceedings with dozens of Republican lawmakers planning to challenge the results and President Donald Trump seeking to overturn Joe Biden’s victory. That triggered a process in which the Senate and the House will withdraw to their respective chambers, even though Trump ’s allies do not have enough votes to block Biden’s 306-232 victory.
“Usually this is the point when everybody comes together, losing hurts, but they sit there and say for the greater good of the country and in keeping with our democracy and our constitution, we’re going to recognize that the person who got the most electoral votes won the election,” he said. The plans to object to the Electoral College victory have created sharp divisions among Republican lawmakers.
And the doubts were reinforced in the afternoon as rioters incited by the outgoing president stormed the Capitol to disrupt the certification of Electoral College results that rendered Trump a loser. Vice President Mike Pence, an unflinching loyalist who for days faced pressure from Trump to use his position to somehow overturn their November defeat, announced he would not intervene.
“We need Trump to go away,” a Republican operative who worked on one of the Georgia Senate races told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday when assessing the president’s effect on the outcome. He remains popular with the Republican base after winning a historic number of votes for a losing candidate in November and is entertaining thoughts of running again in 2024.
“He’s always going to have his darlings,” added Pierce, who specifically singled out Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, a promoter of QAnon, the collective delusion that claims Trump is fighting a satanic cabal of child abusers. Trump endorsed the losing incumbents, Offer and David Purdue, but he also, without any basis in fact, cast aspersions on the integrity of elections administered by other Republicans in the state.