Twitter, Facebook freeze Trump accounts as corporate group calls for his removal over violent capitol riot
London, Jan. 7, 2021 (AltAfrica)-Twitter and Facebook Inc on Wednesday temporarily locked the accounts of U.S. President Donald Trump, as tech giants scrambled to crack down on his baseless claims about the U.S. presidential elections amid riots at the U.S. Capitol.
Twitter hid and required the removal of three of Trump’s tweets “as a result of the unprecedented and ongoing violent situation in Washington, D.C.,” after pro-Trump protesters stormed the U.S. Capitol in an attempt to force Congress to block the appointment of President-elect Joe Biden.
Facebook FB.N later tweeted it would block Trump’s page from posting for 24 hours due to two policy violations.
Twitter locked Trump’s account for 12 hours and said that if the tweets are not removed, the account would remain locked, meaning the president would be unable to tweet from @realDonaldTrump.
Meanwhile, the head of a major U.S. business group that represents 14,000 companies including Exxon Mobil Corp, Pfizer Inc and Toyota Motor Corp urged senior U.S. officials to consider removing President Donald Trump from office after supporters of the outgoing president stormed the U.S. Capitol.
National Association of Manufacturers Chief Executive Jay Timmons said Trump “incited violence in an attempt to retain power, and any elected leader defending him is violating their oath to the Constitution and rejecting democracy in favor of anarchy. … Vice President (Mike) Pence, who was evacuated from the Capitol, should seriously consider working with the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to preserve democracy.”
Trump has 14 days remaining in office before President-elect Joe Biden is sworn in on Jan. 20.
The mayhem at the Capitol forced Congress to temporarily postpone a session to certify Biden’s victory.
The chaotic scenes unfolded after Trump, who before the election refused to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he lost, addressed thousands of supporters near the White House, repeating unfounded claims that the election was stolen from him due to widespread fraud and irregularities
Other business groups issued strong statements but did not go as far as the manufacturers’ group. Under the amendment’s Section 4, never invoked, the vice president and a majority of either Cabinet officials or “such other body as Congress may by law provide” may declare in writing that the president “is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office.”
Several Democratic lawmakers in Congress also urged Pence and the Cabinet to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump.
The Business Roundtable, an association of chief executives of some of America’s biggest companies, said that “the chaos unfolding in the nation’s capital is the result of unlawful efforts to overturn the legitimate results of a democratic election.”
They called on Trump “and all relevant officials to put an end to the chaos and to facilitate the peaceful transition of power,” the group said in a statement.