Republicans have had a LOT to say about the “Twitter Files,” and the disturbing revelations they’ve made about the relationship between left-leaning elements of the federal government and Big Tech’s censorship decisions. But they’ve had far less to say after the news that former President Trump apparently engaged in the same type of thing.
As I reported for BASEDPolitics, the Trump White House reportedly contacted Twitter and pressured the company to take down a 2019 tweet from actress Chrissy Teigen where she called Trump a “pussy ass bitch.” And this wasn’t a one-time thing. According to Rolling Stone, the Trump administration regularly made censorship requests of Big Tech platforms — you know, the very same thing Republicans are (rightfully) upset by the Biden administration doing.
(Although it’s worth noting that Trump’s Teigen censorship request was denied by Big Tech, while many of the Biden administration’s were approved. The same principle is at stake, though: the government should never engage in such activity, no matter which party is in charge).
Did… did Trump seriously try to censor an actress who called him a pussy? pic.twitter.com/XQCyQfCQBa
— Brad Polumbo 🇺🇸⚽️🏳️🌈 (@brad_polumbo) February 9, 2023
So, I decided to see what prominent Republicans had to say about this. Would they condemn Big Government-Big Tech collusion when it came from within the GOP’s ranks? I reached out to the offices of 10 well-known Senate Republicans and asked them to comment on the revelations.
The senators were:
- Senator Marsha Blackburn
- Senator Rand Paul
- Senator Josh Hawley
- Senator Ted Cruz
- Senator Ron Johnson
- Senator Tom Cotton
- Senator Mike Braun
- Senator Rick Scott
- Senator John Kennedy
- Senator Mike Lee
To my disappointment (if not my surprise), I did not hear back from a single one of these senators. Yes, even though they have all spoken out in sharp terms about the Twitter Files and the Democratic collusion with Big Tech. For example, Sen. Josh Hawley said the Biden White House’s requests made it the “most dangerously anti-free speech administration in American history.” He does not, evidently, have the same level of concern about the Trump administration’s requests. Indeed, their collective response seems to be not consistency, but crickets.
Lest you think they were simply too busy to respond, Hawley’s team has responded to past BASEDPolitics requests for comment, as have several others on this list. I have personally interviewed dozens of congressmen, senators, and governors, including several named here. What’s more, I asked them on Thursday and am only now on Monday running this story, so they had plenty of time.
This is the kind of thing that makes Republicans a disappointment in the eyes of so many on the Right. Republicans are loud and proud fiscal conservatives when Democrats are in charge. Then they spend ungodly sums when they’re in power. They’re staunch free speech warriors when it comes to battling the Left’s censorship. Then they’re quiet as a mouse when the threat to free speech comes from their side of the aisle.
All this brings to mind one of Donald Trump’s favorite sayings: “Sad!”
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