Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey directly told Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) during a phone call Tuesday that he stands by the decision to allow President Donald Trump’s tweet that targeted the congresswoman and later resulted in a wave of death threats against her.
The call, first reported Thursday by The Washington Post, revolved around a video Trump tweeted on April 12. The video alternates between footage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and out-of-context remarks by Omar from a speech last month about the broader issue of Islamophobia. The video was an attempt to mischaracterize her as being dismissive of the tragedy.
Omar asked Dorsey to explain his reasoning behind Twitter not removing Trump’s tweet, according to the Post. Dorsey reportedly said the tweet did not violate the company’s rules and that the incendiary video had already been viewed and shared beyond Twitter’s platform.
Despite actively rejecting the idea of removing Trump’s inciteful tweet, Dorsey told Omar that Twitter has to be better about weeding out hate and harassment. The social media giant has notoriously ignored the hate and harassment coming from the president of the United States’ account, saying there’s a public interest in having the president of the United States tweet unfiltered, no matter how dangerous.
Both Twitter and Omar did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s requests for comment.
Days after the president’s tweet, Omar said she has received a significant number of death threats. Some Democratic leaders responded by condemning the president for his behavior, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.).
“Since the President’s tweet Friday evening, I have experienced an increase in direct threats on my life ― many directly referencing or replying to the President’s video,” the congresswoman said in an April 14 statement. “I thank the Capitol Police, the FBI, the House Sergeant at Arms, and the Speaker of the House for their attention to these threats.”
Dorsey’s call to Omar came on the same day the Twitter head met with Trump at the White House. The Post previously reported that the president used “a significant portion” of the meeting to voice concerns that Twitter deliberately reduces his follower count. Dorsey reportedly told Trump that users’ follower count may change as the platform continues weeding out spam accounts.
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