Trump tweeted early this morning that the military would “assume control” in the city of Minneapolis if recent civil disturbances continue, adding “when the looting starts, the shooting starts”.
….These THUGS are dishonoring the memory of George Floyd, and I won’t let that happen. Just spoke to Governor Tim Walz and told him that the Military is with him all the way. Any difficulty and we will assume control but, when the looting starts, the shooting starts. Thank you!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
Users can still view the tweet by clicking an adjoining link but Twitter has disabled comments on the post. Trump has yet to tweet again since the message.
The city has become the centre of widespread national protests following the death of black man George Floyd who was killed by a white police officer.
Trump’s ‘looting, shooting’ reference is apparently a quote from the former Miami police chief Walter Headley, who in December 1967 promised violent reprisals to protests over stop-and-search tactics.
Twitter later added the note: “This tweet violated the Twitter Rules about glorifying violence. However, Twitter has determined that it may be in the public’s interest for the tweet to remain accessible.”
This is the latest drama between the President and the social media platform. A row erupted Wednesday when the company applied a fact-checking message to one of the President’s tweets for the first time.
He had made an accusation that California was using mail-in ballots to ensure a “rigged election” to which Twitter added a label reading: “get the facts about mail-in ballots”, which had a link to a “Twitter-curated” set of fact checks.
The President then swiftly signed an executive order seeking to curb what he called social media platforms’ “unchecked power”. The order specifically aims to ban Twitter’s protections against civil claims in cases where it acts as an “editor” rather than a publisher.
First Amendment advocates and tech industry groups quickly raised red flags over the order and doubts about its enforceability.
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