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Steve Bannon Says 'Punk' Twitter Boss Jack Dorsey Should Be Arrested for 'Taking Down the President'

Newsweek logo Newsweek 11/5/2020 Jason Murdock
a man standing in front of a building: Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court on August 20, 2020 in the Manhattan borough of New York City. © Stephanie Keith/Getty Former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon exits the Manhattan Federal Court on August 20, 2020 in the Manhattan borough of New York City.

Steve Bannon, the former adviser to President Donald Trump, has called for Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to be arrested for covering up the president's posts.

The social media platform placed warning labels and flags over six of Trump's 16 tweets yesterday, saying the content was "disputed" and could be misleading about an election still in progress, with the posts in violation of the site's civic integrity policy.

Bannon fumed about the enforcement while speaking during an episode of his podcast War Room: Pandemic, saying Twitter was suppressing the president's speech. His comments were first reported by media watchdog Media Matters for America.

"They're taking down the president of the United States," Bannon, who served as a top aide in the White House for eight months in 2017, said during the broadcast. "If the president of the United States does not call Bill Barr now, today, this moment—what is it? Section 232 of the Defense Act—and send U.S. marshals out to San Francisco and arrest Jack Dorsey today.

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"I knew this moment was going to come. When some punk like Jack Dorsey is going to take down and suppress the free speech of the commander-in-chief."

Podcast co-host Raheem Kassam, who also had a post flagged by Twitter on Wednesday for attempting to circulate one of the president's restricted tweets, agreed with Bannon. He said U.S. authorities should storm Twitter's HQ and collect evidence. (Due to COVID-19, Twitter employees across the world are still working from home.)

Kassam told the listeners: "I mean right now. Twitter HQ—don't just arrest Jack Dorsey, seize every piece of equipment in there. Take the thing down. They are impacting this election. They are calling it for one side. This cannot be allowed to happen."

Twitter has been contacted for comment by Newsweek.

Bannon himself was arrested in August, charged with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors of a fundraising campaign called "We Build the Wall" that raised over $25 million. He pleaded not guilty and was released on a $5 million bond, CNBC reported. Alongside three co-defendants, he is set to face trial on May 24 next year.

Yesterday, Trump made repeated false claims about the ongoing election ballot counts via his social media accounts, also sparking enforcement by Facebook.

The president, who was expected to complain that the mail-in ballot process was being manipulated, suggested his Democratic opposition was trying to steal the election and spread the unfounded conspiracy that ballots were being "secretly dumped."

As it emerged that Joe Biden was taking a lead, Trump tweeted his campaign "claimed" Pennsylvania, Georgia, North Carolina and also possibly Michigan. A warning label was swiftly applied by Twitter, stating official sources had not called the races at the time.

Biden, who did not appear to have any tweets flagged by social media platforms yesterday, is projected to take Michigan. "Once this election is finalized... it will be time for us to do what we've always done as Americans: To put the harsh rhetoric of the campaign behind us," he tweeted.

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