Independent Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders said Tuesday he wasn’t “comfortable” that Twitter banned former President Donald Trump during an interview with The New York Times (NYT).
When asked by the NYT’s Ezra Klein whether there was any truth to the claim that liberals “have become too censorious and too willing to use their cultural, and corporate, and political power to censor or suppress ideas and products that offend them,” Sanders said he didn’t like Twitter banning Trump.
“Look, you have a former president in Trump, who is a racist, a sexist, a homophobe, a xenophobe, a pathological liar, an authoritarian, somebody who doesn’t believe in the rule of law. This is a bad news guy.”
“But if you’re asking me, do I feel particularly comfortable that the president, the then president of the United States could not express his views on Twitter? I don’t feel comfortable about it,” he continued.
Sanders said he’s not sure how to balance banning so-called “hate speech and conspiracy theories” while protecting free speech.
“I don’t know, but it is an issue that we have got to be thinking about. Because of anybody who thinks yesterday it was Donald Trump who was banned and tomorrow it could be somebody else who has a very different point of view,” Sanders said. (RELATED: A Study Touted As A Blow To Conservatives’ Complaints About Big Tech Censorship Was Funded By A Major Biden Donor)
“So I don’t like giving that much power to a handful of high tech people, but the devil is obviously in the details and it’s something we’re going to have to think long and hard on, and that is how you preserve First Amendment rights without moving this country into a big lie mentality and conspiracy theories.”
Twitter permanently banned Trump’s Twitter account in January after issuing a temporary suspension. The big-tech platform alleged Trump’s tweets incited or justified violence during the Jan. 6 Capitol Riot.
After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.https://t.co/CBpE1I6j8Y
— Twitter Safety (@TwitterSafety) January 8, 2021
“After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” Twitter said in a statement at the time.
The Daily Caller has reached out to Sanders’ office but did not receive a response at the time of publication.