Trump to Newsmax: States Taking on Big Tech Since Congress Won't (Newsmax's "Cortes & Pellegrino")
Tuesday, 25 May 2021 09:14 PM
In a sit-down interview with Newsmax, former President Donald Trump expressed support Tuesday for states such as Florida and Texas taking on Big Tech censorship since, he said, Democrats in Congress are clearly unwilling to do so.
Appearing on "Cortes & Pellegrino", Trump told host Steve Cortes that he would have liked to have seen action taken on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 that provides social media platforms immunity for things users say on those platforms.
Trump himself was deplatformed by Twitter, Facebook and other social media following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. Facebook's independent board recently upheld his ban for now, while Twitter has said its ban is permanent.
But Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Monday signed into law a bill making it legal for residents of the state to sue social media companies that deplatform them. Texas has similar legislation pending.
"When the Founding Fathers established our country and crafted the Constitution, they were very concerned with threats to liberty," DeSantis said in announcing the new law. "We are now, though, in a situation where we have things that, I think, were probably unforeseen by the Founding Fathers … we now have a situation in which some of these massive, massive companies in Silicon Valley are exerting a power over our population that really has no precedent in American history."
"What they're doing is incredible," Trump said of the states' efforts. "They're putting very, very powerful restrictions on Big Tech. "When you add Florida and you add what [Gov.] Greg Abbott's doing in Texas … and you look at other states, big states and small states … they're not going to be able to function unless they become reasonable."
The states are doing what the federal government will never do, Trump said, because "They are taken care of very nicely the other side, the Democrats."
He praised Republican Sens. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, and Josh Hawley of Missouri, among others for "fighting hard," but, he added, "they're fighting a battle against a group of people that just aren't going to do it. That's the Democrats.
Critics have called the state laws unenforceable, and likely to face lawsuits from the tech giants.
Florida's law also includes a provision for daily fines for any social media company that deplatforms a candidate from the state.
"Yeah, that'll do it," Trump told Newsmax. "You know you're not going to lose Florida. They can't lose Florida, Texas and some of these big states. They're going to have to make changes. So I think they can do what the federal government hasn't done, and it gives people like me and others that have been very illegally treated … the right to bring major lawsuits."
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