Donald Trump is claiming vindication after the release of internal “Twitter Files” showing discussions between employees of the platform’s content moderation policies — and attempting to make a quick buck in the process.
A text sent out by the Trump campaign Friday morning read: “BREAKING NEWS: President Trump was RIGHT! The Twitter files exposed FRAUD and CORRUPTION from Big Tech.”
The text linked recipients to a website where supporters could donate to the former president’s reelection campaign.
The “Twitter Files” are a series of internal documents intentionally leaked by Twitter owner Elon Musk to prominent political pundits, who allege the platform engaged in politically motivated censorship, including ahead of the 2020 election. The material has been selectively released in Twitter threads by Matt Taibbi and and Bari Weiss, and focuses almost exclusively on how content moderation policies were applied to conservative accounts.
The second installment of the “Twitter Files” was released on Thursday night. The thread, posted by Weiss, focused on the use of internal moderation tools available to Twitter staff to limit the reach of prominent conservative accounts found to be in violation of Twitter’s policies. While Weiss portrays the existence of these tools as a secretive enforcement mechanism used to target conservatives, the majority have been public knowledge for some time.
Conservatives have seized on the leaks to vindicate claims of government censorship of the Hunter Biden laptop story in the weeks leading up to the 2020 election, despite President Biden not being in elected office at the time.
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Trump thanked Elon for releasing the files last Friday, writing on Truth Social that they show “the FBl and “Justice” illegally colluding, proving conclusively, in one more very powerful way, that the 2020 Presidential Election was Rigged & Stolen.” He went on to say he hoped future releases would show the “process leading up to the time of the so-called ‘Election,’ and ultimately the ‘Deplatforming’ of the President of the United States.” He added a call for lawmakers to “terminate” rules in the Constitution and declare a “rightful winner” of the election.
The call follows Trump’s post in August calling for either a “re-do” of the election or to be retroactively declared the rightful winner. Now, the former president is seizing on cherry-picked leaks of internal Twitter documents to fund his attempt to retake the White House.