Presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) wants Twitter to suspend President Donald Trump’s account.
Harris argues the president is breaking Twitter’s community guidelines by using his account to “target, harass, and attempt to out” the whistleblower who alleged Trump has solicited foreign interference in the 2020 election.
On Monday, Harris tweeted that Twitter (TWTR) should suspend Trump’s account, and she followed up with a formal request on Tuesday. In a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, released Wednesday morning, Harris pointed to Trump’s recent tweets about the whistleblower.
Sounding more and more like the so-called Whistleblower isn’t a Whistleblower at all. In addition, all second hand information that proved to be so inaccurate that there may not have even been somebody else, a leaker or spy, feeding it to him or her? A partisan operative?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 27, 2019
“These tweets should also be placed in the proper context, where the president has compared the whistleblower to a “spy” who may have committed treason, and further implied that the punishment for that should be death,” Harris said in the letter.
Harris also highlighted Trump’s tweets attacking House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and suggesting an impeachment could lead to a civil war. In recent days, Trump has used Twitter to call the impeachment process “a COUP,” and mused about having Schiff arrested for treason.
“These are blatant threats. We need a civil society, not a civil war,” Harris wrote. “These tweets represent a clear intent to baselessly discredit the whistleblower and officials in our government who are following the proper channels to report allegations of presidential impropriety, all while making blatant threats that put people at risk and our democracy in danger.”
Harris went on to argue that Twitter has suspended other accounts for “far less offensive” behavior.
“...when this kind of abuse is being spewed from the most powerful office in the United States, the stakes are too high to do nothing. No user, regardless of their job, wealth, or stature should be exempt from abiding by Twitter’s user agreement, not even the President of the United States,” said Harris.
Twitter told Yahoo Finance it has received the letter and intends to respond.
Earlier this year, Twitter changed its policy for tweets from public figures. The company announced in June that it would label and hide tweets from public figures that break its rules.
The White House defended President Trump’s Twitter use in a statement to Yahoo Finance.
“It is not surprising that Kamala Harris, someone who believes in bigger government and more regulation, would like to silence her political opponents. In fact, it’s rather authoritarian of her,” said White House Deputy Press Secretary Judd Deere. “President Trump’s use of technology to communicate directly with the American people and share his Administration’s unprecedented accomplishments should be praised, not criticized.”
Jessica Smith is a reporter for Yahoo Finance based in Washington, D.C. Follow her on Twitter at @JessicaASmith8.