Conservatives on Wednesday blasted Facebook after the social network removed a video of former President Donald Trump being interviewed by his daughter-in-law, Lara Trump.
One prominent commentator said that the 45th president has been relegated to ‘Voldemort status’ and is now ‘he who must not be heard.’
The accusations of censorship against the Silicon Valley giant come amid reports that the former president and his advisors are ‘moving forward’ with plans to start their own social media platform.
‘We’re moving forward,’ a source close to the 45th president told Fox News on Wednesday.
‘And President Trump will have his voice back one way or another.’
The source added that Trump and his team are ‘taking the time to do it right.’
‘You have one shot at it,’ the source said.
At 9.26pm, Lara’s team received this email from Facebook warning them that the interview would be removed (left). Thirty-minutes later, after she’d uploaded it to Facebook, she received another, informing her it had been taken down. Lara shared screenshots of the emails on Instagram
Donald Trump sat down with his daughter-in-law Lara Lea, Eric’s wife, for his first on-camera interview since leaving office
During the 20-minute interview Trump talked about Joe Biden falling on the stairs to Air Force One, how boring Twitter had become without him and how the woke mob’s cancelling of Dr Seuss made the US look absurd to its foreign adversaries, including China. It was the 74-year-old’s first on-screen interview since losing to Biden in the general election and leaving D.C. under the cloud of the deadly Capitol Hill riot after he claimed the vote was rigged.
‘We’re dotting our Is and crossing our Ts – we’ll be out with something.’
Last week, Trump’s longtime adviser, Jason Miller, revealed that his boss would return to social media sometime within the next few months.
‘I do think that we’re going to see President Trump returning to social media in probably about two or three months here with his own platform – and this is something that I think will be the hottest ticket in social media,’ Miller said during an interview with Fox News ‘MediaBuzz’ host Howard Kurtz on March 21.
He added that the new platform will ‘completely redefine the game’ of social media.
Miller, a principal at SHW Partners and spokesperson for Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign, predicted the former president will attract ‘tens of millions’ of new users to his online presence.
Trump was a prolific Twitter user before and during his presidency, but the social media platform shuttered his account and permanently banned him from posting after January 6, when Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol building.
Other social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube either suspended Trump indefinitely or removed him altogether.
Facebook on Wednesday drew the ire of Trump supporters after it removed the ex-president’s on-camera interview with his daughter-in-law, newly hired Fox News correspondent Lara Trump.
The clip was removed from Facebook as well as its subsidiary, Instagram.
In the interview, Trump tore into social media and the mainstream media for suppressing the Hunter Biden laptop story, he criticized President Biden’s green agenda and railed against cancel culture which he said obliterates US culture.
It was for The Right View, Lara’s show. During the 18-minute interview, Trump also spoke about running for President again in 2024. Lara had been promoting it on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter beforehand.
Lara said the US was becoming like Communist China and others said Facebook ‘can’t handle the truth’
At 9.26pm on Tuesday night, four minutes before it was due to be uploaded, Facebook emailed Lara’s team warning them that it would be removed if it went live. At 9.51pm, they emailed again to say that they’d taken it down.
Lara shared screenshots of the emails on Instagram afterwards. ‘And just like that, we are one step closer to Orwell’s 1984. Wow,’ she wrote alongside them.
Conservatives on Twitter said Facebook’s move was a dangerous step.
Right-leaning commentator Mollie Hemingway tweeted: ‘Big Tech oligarchs exercising raw power to silence their political opponents is utterly terrifying to observe.’
Sean Hannity, the Fox News primetime host, slammed the move as ‘extreme censorship.’
Senator Lindsey Graham, the Republican from South Carolina, tweeted: ‘Big Tech’s war on conservatism and all things Trump needs to stop.’
‘Who makes these decisions?’ Graham asked, and then answered his own question.
‘The liberals running Big Tech.’
Jonathan Turley, the conservative legal scholar, tweeted: ‘Facebook declared that it would censor any content “in the voice of Donald Trump.”
‘It appears that Trump has achieved Voldemort status on social media and is now “he who must not be heard”.’
Turley also hit out at Democrats for demanding ‘robust content modification’ which includes ‘censoring the voice of Donald Trump.’
‘These companies are trying to erase an unpopular figures but in doing so they are only deepening the divisions and anger in our country,’ Turley tweeted.
Byron York tweeted: ‘There is a 44th president, and a 46th president, but the 45th has vanished down the memory hole.’
Trump has been banned from Twitter, Facebook and Instagram since the January 6 riots, cut off from his supporters and unable to get messages to them in the way he did before.
In their email to Lara Trump, the Facebook employee said that ‘content posted in the voice of President Trump is not currently allowed on our platforms (including new posts with President Trump speaking) and will be removed.
‘This guidance applies to all campaign accounts and Pages, including Team Trump, other campaign messaging vehicles on our platforms and former surrogates’.
Trump’s interview with Lara is the first time he has been seen on camera since he left office. Until now, he has been phoning in to FOX News to share his opinions.
The social media giant has not responded to inquiries about taking the video down, and it has not made any public statement.
Trump supporters are irate and say it’s further proof of big tech trying to silence anyone who doesn’t agree with them.
During the 18-minute interview Trump talked about how Joe Biden ‘didn’t know where the hell he was’ when he fell down the stairs on Air Force One and how ‘boring’ Twitter had become without him.
He was asked whether his supporters could hope he will run for president again, he replied: ‘You do have hope, that I can tell you, you do have hope. We love our country, this country, we all owe a lot to our country, but now we have to help our country.’
Trump also criticized the situation at the border. pointing to the fact that many crossing the Rio Grande have explicitly stated that Biden was the reason they made the journey North.‘Look at our borders, look what’s happening,’ Trump said.
‘We had the best southern border that we’ve ever had and in one day he said, “Everybody come up,” and and what’s going on now is something compared to what’s going to take place during the summer.’
Trump also criticized the situation at the border. pointing to the fact that many crossing the Rio Grande have explicitly stated that Biden was the reason they made the journey North.
Trump opened the chat by slamming Biden’s first two months in power after Lara asked about the debut White House press conference last week – a record-breaking 65 days after taking office.
‘Well I think the press conference is probably the least of it,’ Trump told his daughter-in-law. ‘People saw a lot of things happening long-prior to the press conference – and even the trip up the stairs – up and down, three times – there are a lot of things going on, so we’ll see what happens.
‘I hope he’s in good shape I hope he’s OK for the sake of the country.
Trump compared it to the media’s coverage of how he had walked ‘inch by inch’ down a ramp after a speech at West Point.
‘But they covered that for weeks, and this guy falls down three times, he couldn’t get up, the third time he didn’t know where the hell he was.
‘And it was not on the evening news, other than a couple of networks, but it wasn’t ABC, CBS, NBC, and it got almost no coverage. It’s incredible.’
Trump said it was a ‘sad situation’ because ‘we don’t have freedom of the press anymore.’
He also referred to how, during the campaign, Hunter Biden was not brought up by the media because that topic ‘was cancelled.’
During the election battle, the contents of an old laptop belonging to the president’s son including video and images of Hunter having sex and taking drugs.
It was dismissed by Biden supporters – and the pro-Democrat press – as having been handed to Trump’s campaign team by Russians, while there was never any denial that it was Hunter in the footage.
The President then lost his balance again and fell to his knees on the carpeted stairs
Donald Trump Jr. said it was ‘no wonder’ the US was being attacked by ‘enemies’ Russia and China when Biden’s health is in question
‘When they didn’t show any of that during the campaign – they just cut it out, like, cancelled I guess, you could call it cancel culture right – to me that was really the beginning, because it was bad it’s been bad for a really long time, it’s been fake for a long time,’ Trump said.
GEORGE ORWELL’S 1984 AND BECOMING AN ‘UNPERSON’
Orwell’s novel 1984 tells the story of a dystopian world where the state controls the people and anyone who disagrees with the party can be erased.
In the novel when that happens, they become an Unperson.
It means that every trace of the person has been wiped from public record – there are no photographs of them or videos, no mentions of their name and they are even wiped from the memories of friends and family.
Critics say it is what the left is trying to do now to Trump.
‘But it used to be fake where they’d come up and I’d come up and you’d fight and the public can believe one way or the other … but they didn’t bring Hunter up, it was just really cancelled.’
The president claimed subsequent polls had shown it would have made a ten point difference in the election if the story had not been suppressed.
He said this had made him realize there was a ‘new phase’ in the cancel culture where the news media are refusing to cover certain subjects for political reasons and described social media as being ‘worse’ that the traditional press.
Trump later expanded on this ‘woke left’ theme, saying that the mob mentality was a disgrace to the United States which damaged its reputation internationally.
‘I think that they [America’s allies and adversaries] cannot believe what is happening,’ the president said.
‘Can you imagine China looking at us and they’re talking about Dr Seuss and that was like the big thing of the day – but it’s gone beyond Dr Seuss, they want to take down monuments to heroes, they want to obliterate our history.
‘Whether it is good or bad you learn from it, you have to learn from history and some is bad and some is good. I would say most of it’s good.
‘But they want to obliterate our past and what you have is you don’t have much of a country left.
‘I think China is very happy now and I think that Russia and a lot of other countries are very happy. They look at what is going on and they don’t believe it.’
Trump said that the social media giants were also bound up in this woke culture, telling Lara: ‘Twitter has gotten very boring, a lot of people are leaving Twitter.’
He referenced the possibility, which has been previously discussed, about his starting a new social media platform.
‘So I think there’s room for something and I bring a lot of people with me, so we’ll see,’ Trump said.
He added that he ‘loved’ how his team were now putting out press releases which he described as an ‘elegant’ solution.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey testifies before Congress last week. Trump said that Dorsey’s platform had become ‘boring’ without him
The former president skewered Biden’s first two months in office, claiming that the Democrat has brought in socialist policies that would make even Bernie Sanders blush and was allowing thousands of illegal migrants through at the southern border.
He said: ‘The things that [Biden] said – and whether we debate it or whether he just made statements – all of those things are not what he’s doing.
‘[The agenda] is more liberal, more radical than Bernie Sanders ever had in mind. Bernie could not be happier, but this is something Bernie would have never suggested, he never talked about what he’s doing to destroy energy and the second amendment.’
Trump said: ‘All of things that he’s doing – raise taxes to the biggest levels in history – those were not things that were discussed at all during the election.’
Trump said that he had rebuilt the US military to its strongest ever levels, that he had brought in the biggest tax cuts and cut regulations to their lowest in years.
But he warned that ‘all of this will erode’ because of the green agenda which the Democrats are intent on pushing through.
The former president said that the southern border wall had been a magnificent success but that it still needed to be completed.
He suggested that the Biden administration had no intention to do so and would simply let the plan fall through.
‘During the summer you’re going to see things that nobody has ever seen before,’ Trump told Lara. ‘It’s very dangerous, it’s very bad for our country and they’re destroying our country.’