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Trump doubles down on Section 230 repeal after GOP pushback

President TrumpDonald TrumpProject Veritas surveilled government officials to expose anti-Trump sentiments: report Cheney: Fox News has 'a particular obligation' to refute election fraud claims The Memo: What now for anti-Trump Republicans? MORE doubled down Thursday on his calls for Republicans to include the repeal of a legal protection for tech companies in a must-pass defense policy bill after many in the GOP pushed back on tying the two issues together.

In a tweet, Trump recognized the Republican criticism of his proposal but said repealing Section 230, a provision that protects tech firms from liability over third-party content on their platforms, is a “MUST.”

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Trump has railed against social media platforms throughout his tenure over unsubstantiated claims that companies such as Twitter and Facebook are unfairly censoring conservative content. He views a repeal of Section 230 as prime way of hitting back at the firms, and his criticism has ramped up in recent weeks as the platforms flag his posts featuring unfounded claims of widespread voter fraud in the presidential race.

The president first demanded that Republicans tie a Section 230 repeal with the annual National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) earlier this week, warning to veto the annual legislation if a repeal is not included. He had previously threatened to repeal the bill over a provision mandating that the Pentagon rename Confederate-named military bases.

His calls appeared to fall on mostly deaf ears this week in Congress, however, as several Republicans said they’d already reached a deal with Democrats on language for the NDAA and that a provision regarding Section 230 did not belong in the defense bill.

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“230 has nothing to do with the military," said Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman James InhofeJames (Jim) Mountain InhofeInhofe tells EPA nominee he'll talk to her 'daddy' if she does not 'behave' OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Senate nixes Trump rule limiting methane regulation | Senate confirms EPA chief: Biden's climate goals are 'an opportunity to lead' | Fine-particle pollution disproportionately hurts people of color: research EPA chief: Biden's climate goals are 'an opportunity to lead' MORE (R-Okla.). "I agree with his sentiments ... but you can’t do it in this bill. That’s not a part of the bill."

"I would hope that he would not actually follow through with that because the NDAA is critical," Sen. Mike RoundsMike RoundsGOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Democrats, GOP agree on one thing: They're skeptical of a deal Senate GOP keeps symbolic earmark ban MORE (R-S.D.) said regarding Trump’s veto threat over Section 230.

Congressional negotiators began signing a compromise bill between the House and Senate versions, known as a conference report, Wednesday evening without any language on Section 230, a House aide confirmed to The Hill.

Sen. Josh HawleyJoshua (Josh) David HawleyNYPD Asian Hate Crimes Task Force chief: Attacks are 'not new' More than 75 Asian, LGBTQ groups oppose anti-Asian crime bill Senate Commerce Committee advances Biden's FTC nominee Lina Khan MORE (R-Mo.), meanwhile, has said he “cannot support” the NDAA because it doesn’t contain Section 230 reforms but does contain language regarding the Confederate-named bases, and Sen. Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamGOP governors move to cut unemployment benefits as debate rages over effects Trump critics push new direction for GOP Graham warns about trying to 'drive' Trump from GOP: 'Half the people will leave' MORE (R-S.C.) said he was supportive of Trump “using all the leverage he can” to reform the tech protection.

Outgoing Rep. Tulsi GabbardTulsi GabbardFox News says network and anchor Leland Vittert have 'parted ways' New co-chairs named for congressional caucus for millennials Tulsi Gabbard blasts new House rules on gender neutral language as 'height of hypocrisy' MORE (D-Hawaii) has also said she “fully” backs Trump on his veto threat, tweeting, “please don’t back down.” 

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However, those voices of support appear to be in the minority, with Republicans in Senate leadership noting that the NDAA must be passed.

"I don't think the defense bill is the place to litigate that," Sen. John ThuneJohn Randolph ThuneGOP split on counteroffer to Biden's spending Senate GOP dismayed by vote to boot Cheney Top Democrat: FCC actions are a 'potential setback' to autonomous vehicles MORE (S.D.), the No. 2 Senate Republican, said. "There will be enormous support for getting the defense authorization bill passed and hopefully signed into law."