The Twitter Files 3 – The Removal of Donald Trump (Pre-Jan 6)
Musk, through Taibbi, releases the third installment of The Twitter Files, titled THE REMOVAL OF DONALD TRUMP Part One: October 2020-January 6th.
The world knows much of the story of what happened between riots at the Capitol on January 6th, and the removal of President Donald Trump from Twitter on January 8th. We’ll show you what hasn’t been revealed: the erosion of standards within the company in months before J6, decisions by high-ranking executives to violate their own policies, and more, against the backdrop of ongoing, documented interaction with federal agencies. This first installment covers the period before the election through January 6th.
3. We’ll show you what hasn’t been revealed: the erosion of standards within the company in months before J6, decisions by high-ranking executives to violate their own policies, and more, against the backdrop of ongoing, documented interaction with federal agencies.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 9, 2022
Taibbi provides internal Twitter messages indicating that as the election approached, senior executives – perhaps under pressure from federal agencies, with whom they met more as time progressed – increasingly struggled with Twitter’s rules, and began to speak of “vios” (violations) as pretexts to do what they’d likely have done anyway.
As described in Twitter Files 2, a core group, working above and outside of Twitter’s standard content moderation rules, would make ad hoc decisions on VITs (Very Important Tweeters).
Messages from Yoel Roth (Head of Trust & Safety) show he met weekly with the FBI, DHS and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (DNI). Regarding the New York Post’s Hunter Biden laptop story ban, Roth told those agencies:
We blocked the NYP story, then unblocked it (but said the opposite)… comms is angry, reporters think we’re idiots… in short, FML (f*ck my life).
Based on alerts sent by the FBI, Roth flagged tweets with warning labels. Taibbi says he could not find any such requests from Trump’s team or Republicans:
Examining the entire election enforcement Slack, we didn’t see one reference to moderation requests from the Trump campaign, the Trump White House, or Republicans generally. We looked. They may exist: we were told they do. However, they were absent here.
In addition to issues with Trump, Taibbi also recounts a long discussion about a joke made by Mike Huckabee about mailing in fake ballots and conversations promising to hit the actor James Woods “hard” in future, even though he had not violated any rules. Meanwhile, disputed pro-Biden tweets were approved.
Regarding Trump, Taibbi says that Twitter attached automated control “bots” to his account, which triggered automated moderation actions. Taibi says that all these bots and rules were abandoned on January 6.
The firm’s executives on day 1 of the January 6th crisis at least tried to pay lip service to its dizzying array of rules. By day 2, they began wavering. By day 3, a million rules were reduced to one: what we say, goes
Around 3:30 PST on Jan 6, Roth “bounced” (put in a 12 hr timeout) three of Trump’s tweets. A company-wide email was sent by Gadde explaining that future violations would result in a permanent suspension.
After Trump tweeted “Go home with love & in peace” mid-riot, Twitter staff wrote:
What the actual f*uck? Sorry, I actually got emotionally angry seeing that. Turns out I’m not a full robot. Who knew?
By the end of the first day, the top execs are still trying to apply rules. By the next day, they will contemplate a major change in approach.
Taibi says more files will be released over the coming days.
Denies Ambassador to Israel appointment
An official serving with Trump’s transition team says Huckabee will be appointed as America’s ambassador to Israel. The official also says, his first order of business will be to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Official:
That’s going to happen. Governor Huckabee is going to see it through.
However, Huckabee denies the appointment:
Media buzz that I was named Amb to Israel is NOT true. Was never discussed with PE Trump; slot probably not picked until State Dept in place
— Gov. Mike Huckabee (@GovMikeHuckabee) November 18, 2016
Says he will go to jail in Davis’ place
At a rally after Davis’ release Huckabee says he would go to jail in Davis’ place.
God showed up in the form of an elected official: Kim Davis, Today I was proud to stand with Kim Davis as she was released from jail. Kim Davis should have never been locked up for being a Christian and for following her conscience and the law…If somebody needs to go to jail, I’m willing to go in her place.
Israel criticizes Huckabee
Israel admonishes Huckabee over his Holocaust remark. Representatives say that while Huckabee showed real concern about the safety and future of Israel and its people, he should not have referred to the gas chambers and ovens in the Nazi death camps used to murder millions of Jews and others when expressing his concern about the Iran agreement. Cabinet member Katz:
Dear Mr Huckabee, no one is marching Jews to the ovens anymore. That is why we established the State of Israel and the Israel Defense Forces, and if necessary, we will know how to defend ourselves by ourselves.
Huckabee refuses to apologize for his remark that Obama’s support of Iran deal is like the holocaust for Israel. He says the remark is appropriate since Iran has called for the destruction of Israel and would carry it out should they develop a nuclear weapon.
Three times I’ve been to Auschwitz. When I talked about the oven door, I have stood at that oven door. I know exactly what it looks like — 1.1 million people killed. For 6000 years Jews have been chased and hunted and killed all over this earth, and when someone in a government says, “We’re going to kill them,” I think by gosh we’ve got to take that seriously. And for the President to act like the only two options are either have a war or take his deal – it’s got .
Huckabee’s comment ‘ridiculous…so sad’
While speaking at a press conference in Ethiopia, Obama speaks about comments on Huckabee’s comments, and others made by GOP leaders and 2016 Presidential candidates.
It would be ridiculous it it weren’t so sad…We’ve had a sitting senator call John Kerry Pontius Pilate. We’ve had a sitting senator, who also happens to be running for president, suggest that I’m the leading state sponsor of terrorism. These are leaders in the Republican Party. Politicians can have serious political differences, but we just don’t fling out ad hominem attacks like that, because it doesn’t help inform the American people. We’re creating a culture that is not conducive to good policy, or good politics. I want to make sure I’m turning over the keys to someone who’s serious about the problems the country faces and the world faces.
Claims Obama ‘marching Israel to ovens’
Huckabee says the Iran Nuclear Agreement will result in similar outcomes to the Holocaust for Israel.
It is so naive that he would trust the Iranians. By doing so, he will take the Israelis and march them to the door of the oven. This is the most idiotic thing, this Iran deal. It should be rejected by both Democrats and Republicans in Congress and by the American people. I read the whole deal. We gave away the whole store. It’s got to be stopped.
Memorial Day message
Huckabee posts a Memorial Day message on Facebook.
Memorial Day: Remember the fallen
The message is superimposed over a picture on the American flag with his campaign logo at the bottom.
Attacked over Duggar support
Huckabee is bombarded with criticism on Facebook after pledging support of one of the Duggar sons after allegations of sexually inappropriate acts come to light. In response to the criticism, Huckabee says:
It is precisely because we are all sinners that we need (God’s) grace and His forgiveness. We have been blessed to receive God’s love and we would do no less than to extend our love and support for our friends. In fact, it is such times as this, when real friends show up and stand up. Today, Janet and I want to show up and stand up for our friends. Let others run from them. We will run to them with our support.
Supports decision to destroy records
Huckabee supports the decision by an Arkansas judge to destroy the records of the investigation into Duggar’s sexual misconduct. Huckabee:
There was no consideration of the fact that the victims wanted this to be left in the past and ultimately a judge had the information on file destroyed — not to protect Josh, but the innocent victims.
Stands by Duggar family
Huckabee stands by the Duggar family amidst child molestation accusations.
Josh’s actions when he was an underage teen are as he described them himself, ‘inexcusable,’ but that doesn’t mean ‘unforgivable’. He and his family dealt with it and were honest and open about it with the victims and the authorities. No purpose whatsoever is served by those who are now trying to discredit Josh or his family by sensationalizing the story.
Calls on candidates to resign
Huckabee says candidates for the 2016 presidential campaign who currently hold senate seats should resign, implying it is a waste of taxpayers money.
I think people have to choose. I just believe it’s a matter of integrity to say, ‘I don’t want this job that I just got elected to. I think I want a different job.’ Ok, then resign the job you have and go out there and seek the one you want. [I]t’s not that I’m going after anybody. I’m speaking the obvious. If a person has a job that the taxpayers are paying for, shouldn’t that person do that job?
Runs for President
Huckabee announces he will seek the Republican nomination for President for a second time. Huckabee also launches his campaign website mikehuckabee.com. In speech in the town of Hope, where he was born, Huckabee talks about school prayer, fishing for catfish and running for student council in Hope:
So it seems perfectly fitting that it would be here that I announce I am a candidate for president of the United States.
Visits Israeli family of kidnap victim
Huckabee’s first stop in Israel is to visit the family of kidnap victim, Naftali Frankle.
(I came here to) show solidarity with the Frenkel family. This is a young man who is also an American citizen; and I am here not just as an American, but as a father.