A draft of President Donald Trump’s social media executive order shows it would create disturbing structures that could allow the President of the United States to personally target social media companies he feels are taking action against his supporters, enable his supporters to report that action directly to the White House, and empower the Attorney General of the United States to collect publicly available “watch-lists” of social media users that monitor not only their online activities but their offline activities as well.
The draft is not final, but both the speed with which it will be signed and reports show it likely has not gone through interagency review, as CNN’s Brian Fung, who calls it “hastily conceived,” notes.
NEW: The White House did not consult the FCC on a forthcoming executive order pertaining to social media companies, according to a person briefed on the matter.
This suggests the draft order has not gone through the normal interagency review process.
— Brian Fung (@b_fung) May 27, 2020
Reuters has confirmed a draft of the executive order, which President Trump has promised he will sign today. They report it “requires the Attorney General to establish a working group including state attorneys general that will examine the enforcement of state laws that prohibit online platforms from engaging in unfair and deceptive acts.”
The order directs the White House Office of Digital Strategy to turn back on the White House Tech Bias Reporting Tool, which the Trump administration created in 2019. It is currently dormant. The tool would be used to collect complaints of what social media users feel is online censorship by tech companies. Those complaints would be submitted by the White House to the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission.
The White House Office of Digital Strategy was not designed for that purpose. It was created for the sole purpose of crafting and promoting the President’s agenda online, not for acting as a conduit to enable spying. The Office of Digital Strategy is headed by a former Heritage Foundation employee.
Reuters also reports Barr is to create “working group” that “will also monitor or create watch-lists of users based on their interactions with content or other users.” That reporting appears to be inaccurate, based on NCRM’s reading, and reporting by other outlets.
NBC News technology correspondent Jacob Ward reports the draft “directs the White House Office of Digital Strategy to collect publicly available information regarding ‘watch-lists’ of users based on their interaction with content or users’ and ‘monitoring users based on their activity off the platform.'”
An ABC News report appears to confirm that reading.
But Barr would be directed to create the group, which would include hand-picked state attorneys general.
The mere existence of any such lists, whether or not they are created by Barr or identified by the DOJ, can easily be politicized.
Stanford Cyber Policy Center’s Platform Regulation Director says this is a copy of the draft. She has annotated it as well:
— Daphne Keller (@daphnehk) May 28, 2020
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Watch: Trump Threatens to ‘Put Down Very Quickly’ Democrats Who Take to the Streets in Protest if He Wins Re-Election
President Donald Trump promises to “put down” Democrats who choose to exercise their First Amendment rights to protest in the streets if he wins re-election.
“We’ll put them down very quickly if they do that. We have the right to do that. We have the power to do that, if we want,” Trump told Fox News host Jeanine Pirro in a taped interview that will air Saturday, as Politico reports.
“Look, it’s called insurrection,” the president added. “We just send in, and we do it very easy. I mean, it’s very easy. I’d rather not do that because there’s no reason for it, but if we had to, we’d do that and put it down within minutes.”
For months Trump has been deploying into American cities paramilitary SWAT teams of federal secret police with no insignias or name badges, armed with assault weapons, who have been tear gassing U.S. citizens protesting police killings of unarmed Black people.
Included among these highly-armed elite tactical agents are members of the U.S. Border Patrol’s BORTAC unit who receive “enhanced Special Forces-type training, including sniper certification,” The New York Times has reported. These “officers typically conduct high-risk operations targeting individuals who are known to be violent, many of them with extensive criminal records.”
Watch the president:
Fox & Friends teases Jeanine Pirro's Trump interview on Saturday with a bit where Pirro says hypothetically, "they're gonna threaten riots" on election night. Trump suggests using the Insurrection Act to "put them down very quickly. … Just send in and we do it very easy." pic.twitter.com/deIMpOJcCw
— Bobby Lewis (@revrrlewis) September 11, 2020
Claiming ‘Radical Left Indoctrination’ Trump Threatens Tax-Exempt Status of Schools and Universities After Two Sue Him
Barely days after at least two top universities announced they are suing him, President Donald Trump on Friday attacked America’s universities and school systems and threatened to revoke their tax-exempt status.
Claiming they are engaging in “Radical Left Indoctrination,” “Propaganda,” and “Act[ing] Against Public Policy,” Trump claimed he would order the Treasury Dept. to “re-examine their Tax-Exempt Status.”
… and/or Funding, which will be taken away if this Propaganda or Act Against Public Policy continues. Our children must be Educated, not Indoctrinated!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 10, 2020
This week Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), two venerable institutions of higher learning, announced they are suing the administration after Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) announced students legally in the U.S. on student visas will be deported if their classes go online and they do not switch to schools that require in-person classroom learning.
Trump’s threat is a transparent attempt to force all schools across the nation to re-open in the fall despite the coronavirus pandemic. On Thursday the president claimed “they” don’t want to let schools re-open, which he called an attempt to hurt his re-election chances.
“We have to get our schools open, and stop this political nonsense,” Trump insisted. “And it’s only political nonsense.”
While it’s unlikely Trump can actually revoke their tax-exempt status, both schools, and many others, are awarded government contracts for research, which could be pulled, as the Trump administration has done in the past.
Ethics expert Walter Shaub responded by calling Trump a “would-be dictator” who “wants to withhold funding based on the content of speech. So much for the Constitution.”
This is a breaking news and developing story.
‘Should Be Executed’: Bolton Book Exposes Depth of Trump’s Hatred of Reporters
President Donald Trump and his entire administration never waste an opportunity to attack reporters, journalists, the mainstream media, and others who deliver Americans the news.
Trump’s former National Security Advisor, John Bolton, is about to release a new book next week, and in it he reveals exactly how much hatred the President of the United States has for reporters.
Bolton, according to The Washington Post, says Trump called reporters “scumbags” during a 2019 meeting in New Jersey.
Trump, in fact, was willing to unilaterally ignore the First Amendment.
Trump, Bolton alleges, according to the Washington Post, said, “journalists should be jailed so they have to divulge their sources.”
The President, who took an oath to “preserve, protect, and defend” the U.S. Constitution, did not stop there.
“These people should be executed,” Trump told his National Security Advisor. “They are scumbags.”
That was not the only attack on the U.S. Constitution Trump made during Bolton’s time in the White House.
“Bolton attributes a litany of shocking statements to the president,” The Post reveals. “Trump said invading Venezuela would be ‘cool’ and that the South American nation was ‘really part of the United States.'”
It is not.
Trump also asked President Xi of China to help him win re-election, an offense so grave it mirrors Trump’s Ukraine quid pro quo for which he was impeached.
And disturbingly, “Trump told Xi that Americans were clamoring for him to change constitutional rules to serve more than two terms,” according to the book.
Americans are not clamoring for Trump to change the U.S. Constitution so he can serve a third term. In fact, according to several polls, Trump is behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden by double digits.
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