'When You're Removed ... You're Removed': Twitter Say It's Not Letting Trump Back Online

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Erin Schaff - Pool/Getty Images Donald Trump on Nov. 26, 2020

Twitter plans to uphold its ban of former President Donald Trump even if he were to run for office again, executives for the tech company said this week.

"The way our policies work: When you're removed from the platform, you're removed from the platform, whether you're a commentator, a CFO or a current or former public official," Twitter CFO Ned Segal told CNBC in an interview that aired Wednesday morning.

"Our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence, and if anybody does that we have to remove them from the service and our policies don't allow them to come back," Segal continued. "He was removed when he was president and there'd be no difference for anybody who's a public official once they've been removed from the service."

During his final weeks in office, then-President Trump's verified Twitter account was permanently suspended following the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, in which his supporters stormed the building as lawmakers counted the Electoral College votes certifying President-elect Joe Biden's November election win.

Twitter cited messages they said showed Trump was encouraging further unrest.

"After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence," the social media platform announced two days after the attempted insurrection.

"In the context of horrific events this week, we made it clear on Wednesday that additional violations of the Twitter Rules would potentially result in this very course of action," Twitter said in a statement. "Our public interest framework exists to enable the public to hear from elected officials and world leaders directly. It is built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open."

In a company blog post, Twitter cited two of Trump's tweets after the riot — one of which included a declaration that he would not be attending Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20 — as a "violation of the Glorification of Violence Policy."

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Twitter believed the statement could be "received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate and is seen as him disavowing his previous claim made via two Tweets ... that there would be an 'orderly transition' on January 20th."

Trump's permanent suspension came just days after Twitter locked his account for 12 hours "for repeated and severe violations of our Civic Integrity policy." The company warned that further violations of its policies "will result in permanent suspension of the @realDonaldTrump account."

Trump's behavior before, during and after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection led to his unprecedented second impeachment just one week later. He had encouraged attendees at a rally that day to march on the Capitol during the joint session of Congress and, after throngs of his supporters stormed the building, he praised them as "very special."

He gave contradictory messages at the rally and later, telling attendees to be peaceful and patriotic but then urging them to "fight like hell" and warning that the country was being stolen from them. After the riot, he tweeted, "These are the things and events that happen."

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Five people died in connection with the violence at the Capitol, including a woman who was fatally shot by law enforcement while she was participating in the riot, according to authorities. A Capitol Police officer was also killed.

Twitter's relationship with Trump was tumultuous before finally banning him.

The platform was regularly scrutinized for how they treated his most provocative and deceitful posts but said that, because of his position, his tweets were newsworthy.

Eventually they began removing or flagging some of his tweets.

Facebook also announced that Trump would be banned "indefinitely" from its platforms following the rioting.