AP NEWS

Trump says Twitter, Facebook engage in ‘collusion’ to suppress conservatives

March 19, 2019

Renewing his war on social media giants, President Trump said Tuesday that there’s “collusion” among Facebook, Twitter and Google to suppress the voices of conservatives.

“It seems to be if they’re conservative, if they’re Republicans, if they’re in a certain group, there’s discrimination,” Mr. Trump said at a press conference. “Things are happening, names are taken off, people aren’t getting through. We have to do something.”

The president didn’t say whether he would support a suggestion by Sen. Josh Hawley, Missouri Republican, to make Big Tech companies liable for the content on their platforms. But he repeated his belief that the social media firms are biased against his supporters, through actions such as “shadowbans” or otherwise stifling free speech.

“I see it absolutely on Twitter, and Facebook,” Mr. Trump said. “We have almost 60 million [followers] on Twitter. I get to see firsthand what’s going on, and it’s not good.”

Mr. Trump said people talking about possible collusion with Russia should instead apply the term to the social media companies.

“There is collusion with respect to that, because something has to be going on,” he said. “When you get the back-office statements made by executives of the various companies and you see the level of, in many cases, hatred for a certain group of people that happen to be in power, that happen to have won the election, you say that’s really unfair.”

“Something’s happening with those groups of folks that are running Facebook and Google and Twitter, and I do think we have to get to the bottom of it,” Mr. Trump said.

The president recently tweeted in support of Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican who is suing Twitter and three users for defamation, claiming the social media company allowed accounts that smear him.

Mr. Trump said it’s surprising that conservatives can win any elections in the face of such media opposition.

“The incredible thing is we can win an election, and we have such a stacked deck,” Mr. Trump said. “And that includes networks, frankly. It’s hard to believe we win. I’ll tell you what it really shows the people are smart. The people get it. They’ll go through all of that, whatever it is they’re fed, and in the end, they pull the right lever.”

He added, “It’s a very very dangerous situation. I agree something has to be looked at very closely.”