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Trump accuses Twitter and Facebook of censoring him and conservative commentators during bizarre 'social media summit'

Business Insider | Jul 12, 2019, 03.18AM IST

President Donald Trump speaks during the

Associated Press

President Donald Trump speaks during the "Presidential Social Media Summit" in the East Room of the White House on Thursday.

  • President Trump led a free-wheeling press conference following the White House's first social media summit on Thursday.
  • Trump's speech touched on everything from his Twitter follower count decreasing to his insistence that social media companies are making it difficult for his supporters to follow him.
  • A handful of conservative commentators and lawmakers spoke at the event as well, including Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, an anti-abortion activist named Lila Rose, and a lawyer who represents conservative clients like former Google employee James Damore.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

President Donald Trump hosted a free-wheeling meeting at the White House on Thursday where he once again accused social media companies like Twitter and Facebook of censoring him and conservative voices.

It was part of the first-ever White House social media summit, which took place on Thursday at the White House. Attendees included a variety of conservative commentators, activists, and fringe media personalities.

Read more: The White House social-media summit doesn't have Facebook or Twitter, but it does have conservative conspiracy theorists - here's who was reportedly invited

Trump's remarks largely focused on his repeated accusation that he's being censored unfairly by social media companies like Twitter. There has been no evidence of any such censorship, and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey even visited the White House earlier this year to speak with the President directly about his accusations. 

"There's no doubt in my mind that I should have millions and millions of people ... but I know that we've been blocked," Trump said during the press conference. "People come up to me and say, 'Sir I cannot follow you' … They make it absolutely impossible."

Trump White House social media summit meeting Diamond and Silk Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson

YouTube/The White House

President Trump praised supporters during the White House social media summit, including the vloggers known as "Diamond and Silk."

Republican Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who has also railed against perceived social media bias against conservatives, was invited by Trump to speak at the event, as were conservative lawyer Harmeet Dhillon and anti-abortion activist Lila Rose. 

Though the meeting was intended to focus on Trump's accusations about conservative censorship on social media, the President spoke to a variety of different subjects: his coverage in the "fake news" media, his move to officially recognize the Golan Heights as part of Israel, and how the economy has responded to his administration's policies.

Beyond Thursday's meeting, Trump said he plans to meet with representatives of social media companies in the coming weeks.

"Based on the feedback that we're hearing from you, I'm announcing that we will ask representatives of the major social media platforms to join me at the White House over the next month, have a big meeting and a real conversation," Trump said. 

Both Facebook and Twitter declined to comment on whether they will attend such a meeting. 

Trump also announced intentions to explore "all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech." Check out the full video of Trump's remarks below:

 

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