Kayleigh McEnany: Twitter had me at ‘gunpoint’ by locking account
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany told Fox News on Wednesday night that Twitter “essentially” had her at “gunpoint” by locking her out of her account for sharing a New York Post story on Joe Biden’s son Hunter Biden that has drawn questions about its sourcing and accuracy.
McEnany’s account, which has more 5.7 million followers, was locked early Wednesday evening but was restored Thursday morning.
“They essentially have me at gunpoint and said unless you delete this story, a news story by the New York Post, I cannot regain access to my account,” McEnany told Sean Hannity on his prime-time program.
“This was a news story with emails, pictures of the emails,” McEnany said before later adding, “Even the Biden campaign does not dispute the authenticity of the emails.”
“Meanwhile, the Ayatollah of Iran [has tweeted] ‘death to Israel,'” she continued. “This is permitted on Twitter, but an email that is reported by the New York Post, a credible outlet, you are not allowed share that information.”
“**NEW** Email from Ukrainian executive to Hunter Biden asks Hunter to ‘use his influence’ on behalf of the firm paying him $50K/mo in email with subject ‘urgent issue’ obtained by @nypost Father @JoeBiden was in charge of Ukraine relations at time.!!” McEnany said in the tweet that was flagged by the tech giant.
The Post claimed in the story that emails show that Hunter Biden set up a meeting between his father, then the vice president, and a Ukrainian businessman on the board of Burisma Holdings, which employed Hunter Biden. Joe Biden has said he was never involved in his son’s business dealings. The emails have not been independently verified.
“Dear Hunter, thank you for inviting me to DC and giving an opportunity to meet your father and spent [sic] some time together. It’s realty [sic] an honor and pleasure,” reads a 2015 email allegedly written by the businessman, Vadym Pozharskyi.
An official who worked for Joe Biden at the time told The Washington Post that a meeting never occurred.
“I was with the vice president in all of his meetings on Ukraine,” said Michael Carpenter. “He never met with this guy. In fact, I had never heard of this guy until the New York Post story broke.”
McEnany’s account was temporarily limited after bypassing Twitter’s rules in spreading the New York Post article that included un-redacted personal information. Her account was allowed to post again after deleting the tweet, a spokesperson told The Hill.
Twitter also locked the account of the Trump campaign on Thursday morning, as well as the official account for the New York Post on Wednesday.
“This is not the American way,” McEnany argued during the Hannity appearance. “This is not how a freedom-loving democracy operates. We have to hold Twitter accountable, and Facebook too, who is banning the transmission of this story simply because ideologically it hurts the side of the aisle that Silicon Valley prefers. It’s sad, it’s censorship. This is not America.
“And make no mistake: if they can ban the press secretary of the United States for President Trump, they can ban you as a citizen, and that is pathetic.”
Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey tweeted late Wednesday that it was “unacceptable” that the platform blocked users from linking to the New York Post story without an explanation of why Twitter imposing that restriction.
“Our communication around our actions on the @nypost article was not great. And blocking URL sharing via tweet or DM with zero context as to why we’re blocking: unacceptable,” Dorsey tweeted to his more than 4.8 million followers.
— jack (@jack) October 14, 2020
– Chris Mills Rodrigo contributed