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President Trump said that the Biden family has been “protected” by Big Tech after Twitter and Facebook censored a damning New York Post report about Hunter Biden's purported emails.
“He and his family are crooked, and they got caught. And now they are being protected by Big Tech,” the president told North Carolinians at the Pitt-Greenville airport.
“We must immediately strip them of their Section 230 protection," Trump added about the tech giants.
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 states "no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider."
The section has been pivotal in the rise of today's social media giants by allowing not only Internet service providers – but also Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and others – to be shielded from liability from content posted on their platforms by third parties, in most cases. But some critics on the right feel that tech giants should no longer benefit from protections of Section 230 if they censor conservative viewpoints, including controversial postings by Trump.
“Big Tech got something years ago that let them become Big Tech,” Trump said of social media platform’s liability protections. “We’re going to take away their Section 230 unless they shape up.”
“Believe it or not, Democrats agree,” Trump continued. Democrats on the Hill have threatened to break up Big Tech, questioning whether the companies violated U.S. antitrust laws and stole from competitors.
On Wednesday, the Post released a report on purported emails they’d obtained from a whistleblower that claim to show that Biden’s son introduced the then-vice president to a top executive at Ukrainian natural gas firm Burisma Holdings less than a year before the Obama administration pressured government officials in Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin, who was investigating the company.
The emails were found in a stash of data on a computer left at a repair shop in Biden’s home state of Delaware, according to the store’s owner. The customer who brought in the laptop, who store owner John Paul Mac Isaac said he 'can't be 100% sure' was Hunter Biden, never came to retrieve it. He said he contacted the FBI out of concern for the computer’s content.
Isaac told the Post he believed it to be Hunter Biden's laptop because the laptop had a sticker from the Beau Biden Foundation, which is named after his late older brother.
“Big tech is censoring these stories to get Biden out of an impossible jam," Trump said. "Hunter Biden left his laptop somewhere… the guy that had his laptop said 'wow this is criminal stuff.' He brought it to the FBI.”
Facebook admitted to limiting distribution of the article until “independent fact-checkers” could review it. Twitter blocked users from tweeting the story link or sending it via direct message to other users. Users who tried to tweet the story’s link were locked out of their accounts, while Twitter pointed to its “hacked materials” policy for censoring the story.
The Post report revealed that Biden, at Hunter’s request, allegedly met with Vadym Pozharskyi in April 2015 in Washington, D.C.
The meeting was mentioned in an email of appreciation, according to the Post, that Pozharskyi sent to Hunter Biden on April 17, 2015 — a year after Hunter took on his position on the board of Burisma.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” the email read.
An earlier email from May 2014 also showed Pozharskyi, a top Burisma executive, reportedly asking Hunter for “advice on how you could use your influence” on the company’s behalf, the Post reported.
The alleged meeting took place less than a year before the former vice president purportedly pressured government officials in Ukraine to fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin.
Republican Sens. Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham and Josh Hawley on Thursday called on the heads of Twitter and Facebook to testify, and said a subpoena was in the works, as critics claimed the social media platforms have been censoring reporting critical of Democrats.
The Senate Judiciary Committee leaders announced they will vote on a subpoena Tuesday for Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, to testify before the committee on Friday, Oct. 23. Hawley said he hoped the committee would vote to subpoena Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, too.
Biden and Biden's allies have maintained, though, that his intervention prompting the firing of Shokin had nothing to do with his son, but rather was tied to corruption concerns.
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Biden repeatedly has claimed he’s “never spoken to my son about his overseas business dealings.”
Fox News' Brooke Singman and Marisa Schultz contributed to this report.
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