Trump Vows to Ban Feds From Targeting ‘Misinformation’ If Elected

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
December 15, 20222024 Elections
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Former President Donald Trump announced Thursday that he will bar the federal government from using terms such as “misinformation” and “disinformation” to describe domestic speech if he’s reelected.

In a video released by the New York Post, Trump said that if he’s named the winner in 2024, one of his first executive acts will target federal rules around speech. The advertisement-like clip showed Trump making his announcement in front of two American flags.

“Within hours of my inauguration, I will sign an executive order banning any federal department or agency from colluding with any organization, business, or person, to censor, limit, categorize, or impede the lawful speech of American citizens,” Trump said.

“I will then ban federal money from being used to label domestic speech as ‘mis-‘ or ‘dis-information’. And I will begin the process of identifying and firing every federal bureaucrat who has engaged in domestic censorship—directly or indirectly—whether they are the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, the FBI, the DOJ, no matter who they are,” he added.

Since last week, several journalists have published installments of the “Twitter Files,” promoted by new Twitter owner Elon Musk, that revealed how Trump’s account was suspended in early 2021 as well as how officials and campaigns communicated with Twitter executives through back channels.

The 45th president also proposed a “Digital Bill of Rights” that “should include a right to digital due process—in other words, government officials should need a court order to take down online content, not send information requests such as the FBI was sending to Twitter.”

“In addition, all users over the age of 18 should have the right to opt-out of content moderation and curation entirely, and receive an unmanipulated stream of information if they so choose,” Trump said.

After taking office in 2021, President Joe Biden has called on news outlets and social media firms to tackle what he said is misinformation around COVID-19 and vaccines.

“I make a special appeal to social media companies and media outlets: Please deal with the misinformation and disinformation that is on your shows,” Biden said earlier this year. “It has to stop. COVID-19 is one of the most formidable enemies America has ever faced. We have got to work together, not against each other.”

Months before that, Biden told reporters that Facebook, Twitter, and other platforms are “killing people” by allowing certain claims about the virus to proliferate.

Activity

A week after the midterm elections, Trump announced at his Mar-a-Lago resort that he would be embarking on a third campaign for president but has kept a relatively low profile since then.

Trump has made few policy statements after his Nov. 15 speech declaring his candidacy and reportedly has not left Florida to campaign or hold rallies. Republicans, meanwhile, underperformed during the 2022 midterms after forecasters predicted a “red wave” in both the House and Senate.

Days after announcing his candidacy, Attorney General Merrick Garland’s appointed a special counsel, Jack Smith, to lead investigations into Trump’s 2020 election challenges and handling of records since he left office. The FBI searched Trump’s home in August, recovering what Department of Justice prosecutors say were classified materials.

Meanwhile, Trump faced controversy for a dinner meeting with rapper Kanye West and political commentator Nick Fuentes. On Truth Social, the former president described West as a “seriously troubled man” in confirming the meeting: “I told him don’t run for office, a total waste of time, can’t win.”

Trump’s Twitter account, which has around 90 million followers now, was recently reinstated by Musk after the Tesla CEO conducted a poll that found a majority of users wanted the former president back on the platform. So far, Trump has not used his once-highly engaged account and has told media outlets that he will stick to using Truth Social instead.

A Trump campaign spokesperson told Yahoo that the 2024 contest “is a marathon, and our game plan is being implemented, even though the presidential calendar hasn’t been set yet and the 2022 midterm cycle just ended.”

“We’re focused on building out the operation and putting in place a foundation to wage an overwhelming campaign that’s never been seen before,” the spokesman said. “We’re building out teams in early voting states and making sure we are positioned to win.”

To date, no other Republican has announced a 2024 presidential bid. There has been speculation former Vice President Mike Pence, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis would run. Unlike the others, DeSantis has not publicly indicated that he would mount a 2024 campaign.

From The Epoch Times

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