Republican Florida Rep. Matt Gaetz said Thursday that President Donald Trump’s executive order against social media is necessary if “big tech” isn’t going to “steal the election” from Republicans.
Trump’s Thursday order would strip social media giants of their exemption from libel laws if they continue to censor posts.
“Big tech buys off Congress so as to maintain special privileges that local newspapers and television stations don’t enjoy. That’s why the president’s executive order today is one that is a very important next step,” Gaetz told Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight.”
“If we just wait around, big tech will steal this election from Donald Trump and from the American people. In 2016, we won three rust-belt states by a point each, and that was when nobody thought Donald Trump could win.”
Although Trump was fact-checked by Twitter after he criticized mail-in voting, he has been angry with Facebook and Twitter before — saying they interfered in both the 2016 presidential election and 2018 midterm elections on behalf of Democrats. (RELATED: Twitter Says It Will Not Remove Trump’s Tweets About Scarborough’s Dead Intern)
“In 2020 we have lost the element of surprise, so we have to be as aggressive as they are,” Gaetz said.
“Twitter is interfering with an election. I’ve heard Democrats say that Russia was interfering with an election. That was a hoax. We have domestic interference right now,” the congressman noted, saying he will be “filing a complaint” Friday with the Federal Election Commission to investigate the actions of social media giants against the president. (RELATED: Trump Says He’d Delete His Twitter Account ‘In A Heartbeat’ If It Weren’t For ‘Fake News’)
Gaetz said he doesn’t accept donations from social media companies because he believes they want to keep Congress on their side.
“If someone is going to assert that they are a nonbiased neutral platform, we should not just take that as an article of faith. We actually have to have investigative work done, transparency, disclosures. If we give these folks the privileges you would give a public utility company, maybe we need to start regulating tech like the public utilities that they are.”