The Hill's Campaign Report: Trump ramps up attacks against Twitter

Welcome to The Hill’s Campaign Report, your daily rundown on all the latest news in the 2020 presidential, Senate and House races. Did someone forward this to you? Click here to subscribe.

We’re Julia Manchester, Max Greenwood and Jonathan Easley. Here’s what we’re watching today on the campaign trail.
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LEADING THE DAY:

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President TrumpDonald John TrumpSenate advances public lands bill in late-night vote Warren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases Esper orders ‘After Action Review’ of National Guard’s role in protests MORE is ramping up his attacks against Twitter, making the case that political bias at the social media giant is undercutting his reelection efforts amid a bitter feud over expanding access to mail-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump campaign has long alleged a double standard in the way that Twitter has used its “manipulated media” policy to flag content produced by Republicans and Democrats.

But the dam broke this week when Twitter slapped a warning notice pushing back on a tweet Trump sent alleging that mail-in voting is susceptible to fraud and abuse.

“Trump falsely claimed that mail-in ballots would lead to ‘a Rigged Election.’ However, fact-checkers say there is no evidence that mail-in ballots are linked to voter fraud,” Twitter wrote in an addendum to the Trump tweet.

The Trump campaign fired back, alleging that “Silicon Valley would pull out all the stops to obstruct and interfere with President Trump getting his message through to voters” by partnering with “biased fake news media fact checkers.”

The president took it up a notch on Wednesday, threatening to “regulate” or “close down” the social media giants.

“Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices,” Trump said. “We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016.”

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The latest dust-up comes as Trump continues to use Twitter to spread conspiracy theories surrounding the death of a congressional aide of MSNBC host Joe ScarboroughCharles (Joe) Joseph ScarboroughHillicon Valley: Senators raise concerns over government surveillance of protests | Amazon pauses police use of its facial recognition tech | FBI warns hackers are targeting mobile banking apps Homeland Security Democrats urge Zuckerberg to act on ‘dangerous’ Trump posts Scarborough, Hunt laud Romney for joining protesters: ‘Such a turning point’ for GOP support of Trump MORE years ago.

Republicans, including House Republican Conference Chairwoman Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyOvernight Defense: Senate confirms US military’s first African American service chief | Navy to ban display of Confederate flags | GOP lawmakers urge Trump not to cut troops in Germany Republicans urge Trump to reject slashing US troop presence in Germany Cheney blasts Trump move to draw down troops in Germany: ‘Dangerously misguided’ MORE (Wyo.), the third-ranking Republican in the House, have told Trump in no uncertain terms to cut it out.

“I do think the president should stop tweeting about Joe Scarborough. I think we’re in the middle of a pandemic. He’s the commander in chief of this nation, and it’s causing great pain to the family of the young woman who died. So I would urge him to stop it,” Cheney said.

The battle over information is part of a larger trap the social media giants are in during an election year, as officials on both sides look for an edge by accusing the platforms of favoring their rivals.

The left is concerned about the spread of misinformation, while the right is concerned about censorship and bias in the news media and social media.

— Jonathan Easley

 

READ MORE:

Trump again tweets about Scarborough conspiracy, despite heavy criticism, by Morgan Chalfant.

Trump threatens social media outlets with regulation, closure, by Marty Johnson.

Trump accuses Twitter of ‘stifling’ free speech after fact check, by Zack Budryk.

 

PERSPECTIVES:

Damon Linker: Why Biden benefits by disappearing.

Steve IsraelSteven (Steve) J. IsraelThe Hill’s Campaign Report: Bad polling data is piling up for Trump Biden faces new hurdle: Winning as front-runner The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden on the cusp of formally grasping the Democratic nomination MORE: Lost generation of Americans face uncertain future in crisis.

Marina Koren: American space flight is now in Elon MuskElon Reeve MuskRussia should rethink its rejection of lunar commercialization Hillicon Valley: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram remove Trump campaign tribute to George Floyd | Report details new cyber threats to elections | Reddit founder resigns from board to boost black community Elon Musk calls for Amazon to be broken up: ‘Monopolies are wrong!’ MORE’s hands.

J.T. Young: California-25 and COVID-19.

Bill Schneider: Trump’s strategy to stay in office.

Bernard Goldberg: Trump’s needles nastiness will catch up with him.

 

FROM THE TRAIL:

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The 2020 general election campaign has already become a slugfest — and it’s only just beginning. Amie Parnes writes about how nasty the campaign is going to get.

Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenHillicon Valley: Biden calls on Facebook to change political speech rules | Dems demand hearings after Georgia election chaos | Microsoft stops selling facial recognition tech to police Trump finalizing executive order calling on police to use ‘force with compassion’ The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook MORE on Wednesday called on the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division to investigate the death of George Floyd, the unarmed black man who was killed during an encounter with Minneapolis police officers. Jonathan reports.

Anthony FauciAnthony FauciUS hits 2 million coronavirus cases amid surges in some states Trump seeks to regain 2020 momentum with campaign rallies Overnight Health Care: Fauci underscores concerns about protests spreading coronavirus | COVID-19 surge in Texas sparks reopening fears | A day in the life of America’s contact tracing army MORE, a top member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, said Wednesday that it’s possible the party nominating conventions will be able to go on as planned in August if the coronavirus outbreak has dramatically subsided by then. Jonathan reports.

Trump’s 2016 campaign manager, Corey LewandowskiCorey R. LewandowskiTrump taps Lewandowski, Bossie for Commission on Presidential Scholars The Hill’s Campaign Report: Trump ramps up attacks against Twitter Bossie, Lewandowski warned Trump he was in trouble in 2020: report MORE, and 2016 deputy campaign manager, David Bossie, went to the White House last week and informed Trump that he’s trailing in several key swing states that could determine the outcome of the November election. Politico reports.

 

FROM CONGRESS & THE STATES:

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed millions of voters to request their ballots by mail, a rapid increase that is likely to change the shape of the 2020 electorate and put incredible strain on an already limited United States Postal Service (USPS). Reid Wilson reports.

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The Texas Democratic Party announced on Wednesday that former 2020 Democratic contenders Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisRand Paul introduces bill to end no-knock warrants The Hill’s Campaign Report: Biden campaign goes on offensive against Facebook McEnany says Juneteenth is a very ‘meaningful’ day to Trump MORE, Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWarren, Democrats urge Trump to back down from veto threat over changing Confederate-named bases OVERNIGHT DEFENSE: Joint Chiefs chairman says he regrets participating in Trump photo-op | GOP senators back Joint Chiefs chairman who voiced regret over Trump photo-op | Senate panel approves 0B defense policy bill Trump on collision course with Congress over bases with Confederate names MORE and Julián Castro will speak at the party’s virtual convention in June. Julia Manchester reports.

Virginia Delegate Jennifer Carroll Foy became the first Democrat to enter the Old Dominion’s 2021 gubernatorial race on Wednesday. Carroll Foy announced her candidacy in a digital video, describing herself as a trailblazer in the commonwealth’s political world. “In order for there to be a trail, there has to be someone who’s willing to blaze it,” she says in the spot. The Hill’s Tal Axelrod reports.

 

POLL WATCH:

FIREHOUSE STRATEGIES/0PTIMUS – PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 54 percent

Trump: 43 percent

 

SIENA COLLEGE – NEW YORK PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 57 percent

Trump: 32 percent

 

ECONOMIST/YOUGOV – PRESIDENTIAL

Biden: 45 percent

Trump: 42 percent

 

MARK YOUR CALENDARS:

(Keep in mind these dates could change because of the outbreak.)

June 2:

District of Columbia primaries

Indiana primaries

Maryland primaries

Montana primaries

New Mexico primaries

Pennsylvania primaries

Rhode Island primaries

South Dakota primaries

 

June 9:

Georgia primaries

West Virginia primaries

 

June 23:

Kentucky primaries

 

July 7:

New Jersey primaries

Delaware primary

 

July 11:

Louisiana

 

July 14:

Alabama Republican Senate primary runoff

 

August 11:

Connecticut primary

 

August 17-20:

Democratic National Convention

 

August 24-27:

Republican National Convention

 

We’ll see you tomorrow for the latest campaign news and updates!

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