The White House says it is not blocking 13-year-old conservative activist C.J. Pearson from following President Obama’s Twitter account.
Pearson claimed the White House blocked him after he criticized President Obama’s decision to invite 14-year-old Ahmed Mohamed to the White House. Mohamed made headlines after he was arrested for bringing a homemade clock to school that officials mistook for a bomb.
But the White House contends it doesn’t block anyone from Twitter, as the administration’s policy is that official governmental accounts not block any followers.
Frank Benenati, an assistant White House press secretary, Tweeted about the policy after Pearson accused the White House of blocking him.
Public Service Announcement: Nobody is or has ever been blocked from the @POTUS twitter account— Frank Benenati (@Benenati44) September 23, 2015
Pearson posted a picture on Twitter of a notification saying he could no long view or follow the president's activity on the site.
Well, this sucks. pic.twitter.com/S9jESl5ybi— CJ Pearson (@thecjpearson) September 23, 2015
It’s not clear why Pearson would have received the message.
On social media, the fight quickly escalated, with supporters of Obama suggesting on Twitter that Pearson had made up the post, while supporters of Pearson accused the White House of lying.
Pearson responded to the White House’s denial with a video posted to Facebook on Wednesday evening in which he calls the denial “completely fallacious.”
“If you think the American people are gonna fall for your little tricks, you’re downright crazy,” Pearson said. “This administration has lied to the American people time and time again. They lied about Bengazi. They lied about the IRS. They lied about every issue of importance to the American people.”
Pearson said he stood by the screenshot, adding, “It almost sucks that this is what it takes to get a response from the White House.”
Pearson has gained a significant following from conservatives on Twitter. He’s the national chairman of Teens for Ted, a group backing Sen. Ted CruzTed CruzThe Hill's 12:30 Report Trump hires Florida chief strategist, new pollster Lynch pressured to recuse herself after Clinton tarmac meeting MORE (R-Texas) for president.
He’s also a vehement critic of Obama.
“The reality of it is you don’t get invited to the White House for building a clock — I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I hate to be harsh, but it’s the plain truth,” Pearson said. “He’s a Muslim kid, he fits into your agenda, so you’re going to go ahead and invite him, well that’s great for you.”
- Updated at 9:17 p.m.