Well, that’s true with a caveat: if President Trump tweets sane, rational policy prescriptions and cause conservatives and Republicans to feel hopeful and generous of spirit, they’ll ramp up their criticisms. But as long as he doing things like inadvertently wading into a debate over “what he knew and when he knew it” regarding former National Security adviser Michael Flynn lying to the FBI, they’re all for his free speech on social media.
The latter comes from a hamfisted attempt to finally, once and for all, blame Trump for something (ANYTHING!) regarding the Russia-collusion investigation. Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D) laid out the argument on MSNBC for obstruction of justice, saying a tweet sent from the Trump account indicating that Flynn was fired for lying to Vice President Mike Pence proves Trump knew Flynn had broken the law.
“There is a credible case of obstruction of justice against Donald Trump…if you take the president’s own statement, his tweet, that [Trump] knew Michael Flynn was lying to the FBI when he fired him, which means he knew Michael Flynn had committed a felony when he asked Comey to stop the investigation of him, and when he fired Comey…and when he fired Sally Yates, and when he called Michael Flynn..to tell him to stay strong. All of these acts are to impede and obstruct justice,” Blumenthal told Morning Joe.
Hmmm. That’s grasping at a lot of straws. RedState’s own Dan Spencer will have more on this in a post this afternoon.
For our purposes, I’m just interested in the push to force Twitter to do something about Donald Trump tweeting.
Twitter has been defending its choices not to interfere with Donald Trump’s tweets for quite a while now—like it did last week after he retweeted anti-Muslim videos—but many critics are growing frustrated with the company’s stance.
What happened: On Wednesday, Trump retweeted anti-Muslim videos posted by Jayda Fransen, the deputy leader of Britain First, an ultranationalist group. Though Twitter originally said that it’s not taking down the videos because they are newsworthy and of public interest, it issued a correction the following day, clarifying that it was because the company’s policy for media permits them.
The Axios report notes that “some are even openly asking Twitter and CEO Jack Dorsey whether the real reasons [they refuse to suspend Trump’s account] are the company’s need to keep Trump using the service (Dorsey denies this), the huge amount of traffic and attention they bring to the service, and because he’s the U.S. president”.
Don’t be fooled by their outrage over the president openly expressing his thoughts on Twitter. Democrats very much want that to continue, but taking a potshot at the Twitter CEO — who heads a platform frustrating to Dems since its inception given the free exchange of information and ideas that happens there — is something they won’t pass up. But they don’t really want Dorsey to ban Trump. How else would they possibly manufacture charges of obstruction of justice for a justifiable firing of an employee who lied to his boss?
The better question is if Trump is aware that each time he fires off a tweet — while giving red meat to his base for sure — he’s also potentially handing Democrats the tools they can use to undo him, justifiably or not.
And if his direct pipeline to his constituency is worth that risk.