Donald Trump has announced that he is filing class action lawsuits against the tech giants Twitter, Facebook, and Google. Trump held a press conference to make the announcement and it was such an absurd event that even Fox News had to cut away when the former president started taking questions. Trump said during the big announcement that “the founding fathers inscribed this right [to free speech] in the very First Amendment to our Constitution because they knew that free speech was essential to the prevention of horror and to the very preservation to our republic.” This was certainly a bizarre statement to make, given that Twitter, Facebook, and Google were not around during the founding of the country. These are also private platforms which aren’t required to guarantee First Amendment rights like the US government is.
The appearance for Trump didn’t get any better when he opened up for questions from the media. At one point, Trump was asked about whether he takes any responsibility for the events of January 6th which triggered these social media bans in the first place. One reporter asked “what did you do to stop the insurrection . . . and why were you not able to stop it?” The former president took the question as an opportunity to deflect blame and to ask why the identity of the person who shot Ashli Babbitt isn’t being released. He said “the person that shot Ashli Babbitt — boom right through the head, just boom, there was no reason for that. And why isn’t that person being opened up and why isn’t that being studied?” The killing of Babbitt was indeed tragic, but the officer in question was relieved of wrongdoing since they were protecting the House chamber (which still had lawmakers inside) from being taken over by a mob of Trump supporters. It’s this very undermining of the events of January 6th that led to Trump’s social media bans in the first place and the reason he’s probably not going to be allowed back on them anytime soon.
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