President Donald Trump on Tuesday said he was a victim of anti-conservative discrimination, in an off-the-rails rant about social media delivered today during a joint press conference with Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro.
Trump made the remarks in response to a question from a reporter for the Daily Caller, who asked if Trump would support changing libel law to hold social media companies accountable for content attacking public figures.
“I have many, many millions of followers on Twitter and it’s different than it used to be,” Trump said. “Things are happening, names are taken off, people aren’t getting through. You’ve heard the same complaints and it seems to be if they’re conservative, if they’re Republicans, if they’re in a certain group, there’s discrimination and big discrimination.”
“I get to see first hand what’s going on and it’s not good,” Trump continued. “We use the word ‘collusion’ very loosely all the time and I will tell you, there is collusion with respect to that because something has to be going on.” The president then all but accused social media executives of having a personal vendetta against him.
“When you get the back scene, back office statements made by executives of the various companies and you see the level of, in many cases hatred, they have for a certain group of people that happen to be in power, that happen to have won the election, you say that’s really unfair,” he said plaintively. “Something’s happening with those groups of folks that are running Facebook and Google and Twitter, and I do think we have to get to the bottom of it.”
The president made clear he’d like to rein in first amendment rights not only for social media but for television networks as well.
“It’s very, very fair to say that we have to do something about it,” Trump said. “The incredible thing is that we can win an election and we have such a stacked deck and that includes networks, frankly. You look at the networks. You look at the news and you look at the newscast. I call it fake news.”
“Something has to be looked at very closely,” he added.