Democratic California Rep. Ro Khanna said Friday that Twitter’s decision to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story in 2020 was “just wrong.”
Khanna is the only Democrat in Congress to publicly express concern over Twitter’s censorship of the New York Post’s reporting on the laptop.
On Dec. 2, former Rolling Stone contributing editor Matt Taibbi released an email from the “Twitter Files” which showed Khanna’s communication with Vijaya Gadde, former general counsel and head of legal, policy, and trust at Twitter, to discuss the suppression of the report.
“I believe that Twitter is the modern public square and it’s one thing to say they shouldn’t have released sensational pictures about Hunter Biden which I agree with,” the representative told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” Friday. “But to censor the New York Post, to prevent sharing the articles, that is just wrong and I stand by what I wrote and I hope they will do that in the future even though they’re not obligated to live up to the First Amendment, they shouldn’t be censoring journalists or things that they disagree with.”
On Thursday evening, Musk and Bari Weiss, the founder and editor of The Free Press, released the second round of the “Twitter Files,” which revealed that the popular conservative account LibsofTikTok did not violate Twitter’s “hateful conduct” policy and that Twitter executives placed several conservative accounts on a blacklist. (RELATED: Musk Fires Ex-FBI Lawyer For Allegedly Stonewalling Access To Hunter Biden Twitter Files)
“Republicans are rightfully concerned about censorship,” Khanna said. “Democrats tend to be concerned about respect, you don’t want people on these platforms spewing anti-semitism, who are spewing racism and this is a conversation we need to have as a country: what is that balance?”
The first release of the files, published by Taibbi, showed that the campaign of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and the Democratic National Committee requested that Twitter remove particular tweets days before the 2020 election. The tweets included a nude picture of Hunter Biden in the mirror with a woman behind him, and another tweet alleging that he was using drugs. A document showed a Twitter executive telling the Biden team that their request had been “handled.”
Taibbi further alleged that requests from the campaigns of then-presidential candidate Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump “were received and honored” in the lead-up to the 2020 election.