technology

Trump threatens ‘big lawsuit’ after Twitter briefly locks campaign account

It’s the latest dust-up between Silicon Valley and the GOP over a disputed New York Post report about the Bidens.

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President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign complained Thursday that Twitter had briefly locked its account, escalating a day of Republican anger over online companies’ handling of unproven allegations against Joe Biden and his son Hunter.

Mike Hahn, a social media staffer on the Trump campaign, shared a screenshot early in the day of an official-looking notice informing the campaign that its Twitter “account has been locked.”

The notice said the campaign account had violated Twitter’s “rules against posting private information,” citing a tweet that accused the Democratic presidential nominee of being a “liar” and “ripping off our country for years.”

The tweet also included a link to what Hahn said was a video related to a New York Post report, published Wednesday, that leveled allegations against the Bidens that have drawn widespread skepticism.

Twitter and Facebook both faced GOP fury Wednesday after taking steps to limit the spread of the Post report, amid questions about whether it was part of a Russian effort to dent Biden’s credibility.

Nearly three hours after Hahn’s initial tweet, the Trump campaign posted a message saying that access to its account had been reinstated, tweeting, “We are back and we are re-posting the video Twitter doesn’t want you to watch.”

Asked for comment on the incident, a Twitter spokesperson responded: “Accounts that Tweet the materials or links to the materials referenced here may be required to delete those Tweets based on our policies on hacked materials and private and personal information.”

Trump’s response: Trump, who appeared surprised by the news of his campaign account being locked, told Fox Business in an interview Thursday morning that “it’s going to all end up in a big lawsuit.”

“And there are things that can happen that are very severe that I’d rather not see happen,” the president added. “But it’s probably going to have to.”

Senate subpoenas coming: The Senate Judiciary Committee will vote Tuesday on whether to authorize subpoenas to compel Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify before the committee that Friday, Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) told reporters Thursday.

Cruz, who chairs Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, said Dorsey will be asked to address “why Twitter is abusing their corporate power to silence the press and to cover up allegations of corruption.”

Hawley, who chairs Judiciary’s Subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, called for the full committee to also vote on subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, though it was not immediately clear whether the vote would include him.

Cristiano Lima contributed to this report.

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