Donald Trump held a press conference in the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday to cap off his meeting with Brazilian counterpart Jair Bolsonaro, and a question from a reporter led the president to accuse various social media platforms and TV news outlets of conspiring to discriminate against Republicans.
As Real Clear Politics reports, Trump stood alongside Bolsonaro, a right-wing nationalist who’s been nicknamed “the Trump of the tropics,” and addressed collusion — not between him and Russia, as Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating, but alleged collusion between Facebook, Twitter, Google, the news media and “different [TV] shows” for supposedly conspiring to silence conservative voices.
“We have to do something. I have many millions of followers on Twitter, and it is different than it used to be. Things are happening, names are taken off. People are not getting through,” he said, offering no evidence to back up his claims.
“It seems to be that if they are conservative, Republicans, or in a certain group, there is big discrimination,” claimed Trump. “I see it absolutely on Twitter, and Facebook, which I have also, and others I see. I really focus more on the one platform. I have many different platforms, I guess we have almost 60 million on Twitter, and if you add them all up it is way over 100 million people. And I get to see firsthand what is going on, and it is not good.”
He continued by insisting “that there is collusion with respect to that, because something has to be going on. When you get the back office statements made by executives of the various companies, and you see the level of hatred that they have for a certain group of people, that happen to be in power, and happen to have won the election, you say that is unfair.”
Trump added: “Something is happening with those groups of folks running Facebook, Google, and Twitter. I think we have to get the bottom of it. It is collusive and it is very fair to say that we have to do something about it.”
“You look at the networks, you look at the news, you look at the newscasts — I call it Fake News,” he said, using his oft-repeated catchphrase.
“You look at what’s happening with networks, you look at what’s happening with different shows… it is a dangerous situation,” he declared, insisting it’s “something has to be looked at closely.”
While Trump didn’t specify which “different shows” on television have made his naughty list, one show that’s certainly a lock is “Saturday Night Live”, the target of Trump’s ire in two of the 50 tweets he issued over the weekend.
“It’s truly incredible that shows like ‘Saturday Night Live’, not funny/no talent, can spend all their time knocking the same person (me), over & over, without so much of a mention of ‘the other side,’” wrote Trump in his already-infamous tweets. “….Should Federal Election Commission and/or FCC look into this? There must be Collusion with the Democrats and, of course, Russia! Such one sided media coverage, most of it Fake News.”