Kamala Harris calls for Twitter to suspend Trump account over whistleblower attacks

Kamala Harris calls for Twitter to suspend Trump account over whistleblower attacks
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Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisIf we want to save earth, we need to change how we eat New poll shows four top-tier 2020 candidates in Iowa The Democratic race for president may not sort itself out MORE (D-Calif.) on Monday called for Twitter to suspend President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report MORE's account in light of his continued attacks on lawmakers and the whistleblower responsible for a complaint focused on the president's dealings with Ukraine. 

"The president’s tweets and his behavior about this are just further evidence of the fact that he uses his power in a way that is designed to beat people down instead of lift people up," Harris, a 2020 presidential candidate, said on CNN. "If you look at what he’s been tweeting today directed at the whistleblower, I frankly think that based on this and all we’ve seen before, including attacking members of Congress, that his Twitter account should be suspended."

Harris went on to argue that "there is plenty of evidence to suggest that [Trump] is irresponsible with his words in a way that could result in harm to other people."

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"And so, the privilege of using those words in that way should probably be taken from him," she said. 

Twitter declined to comment when contacted by The Hill. 

Trump has continually used Twitter throughout his presidency to lash out at political opponents. In recent days, the president has used the platform to escalate attacks against an intelligence community whistleblower responsible for a complaint regarding his interactions with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. 

The complaint, which was released last week, accuses Trump of a broad effort to pressure Ukraine into investigating 2020 presidential candidate Joe BidenJoe BidenSondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report Biden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' Impeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP MORE and his son Hunter Biden over unsubstantiated allegations of corruption. 

Trump tweeted on Sunday that the complaint represented him in a "totally inaccurate and fraudulent way" and suggested that the figure was "spying."

"Was this person SPYING on the U.S. President? Big Consequences!" he wrote.

In a series of tweets early Monday, the president also questioned whether House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam SchiffAdam Bennett SchiffJohnson: Whistleblower 'exposed things that didn't need to be exposed' Schiff knocks Mulvaney over failure to testify in impeachment probe Impeachment hearings likely to get worse for Republicans MORE (D-Calif.) should be arrested for treason for exaggerating parts of a July 25 phone call Trump had with Zelensky. 

"Adam Schiff illegally made up a FAKE & terrible statement, pretended it to be mine as the most important part of my call to the Ukrainian President, and read it aloud to Congress and the American people," Trump tweeted. "It bore NO relationship to what I said on the call. Arrest for Treason?"

Asked by CNN's Anderson Cooper whether suspending Trump's Twitter account would add more fire to the president's base, Harris acknowledged that it probably would. But she insisted that Trump's behavior warranted such an action. 

"We have to also agree that when the president of the United States speaks, her words are very powerful, and should be used in a way that is not about belittling, much less harming anyone. And this president has I think never fully appreciated that responsibility," Harris said. 

"If he’s not going to exercise self restraint, then perhaps there should be other mechanisms in place to make sure his words don’t harm anyone."

According to the Whistleblower Protection Act, federal agencies are prohibited from threatening retaliation against individuals who raise concerns of wrongdoing within the government. 

--This report was updated on Oct. 1 at 12:00 p.m.