President Donald Trump warned on Thursday that he would shut down the popular social media platform Twitter completely if he could do so legally.
The president expressed his frustration with Twitter to reporters after he signed an executive order against bias from social media companies. He cited a report about the platform’s “head of site integrity” and his open hostility to Republicans before answering a question about shutting it down.
“I tell you what, I have so much, it seems, influence over Twitter, in the sense of people wanting to go Twitter because of what I have, I have a vast number of platforms that, as you know, we have millions and millions of people,” the president said.
“I think this, if Twitter were not honorable, if you’re gonna have a guy like this be your judge and jury, I think you shut it down as far as I’m concerned, but I’d have to go through a legal process to do that,” Trump added.
“How would you shut down an American company?” the reporter asked.
“I don’t know, I’d have to ask the lawyers, I’d have to go through a legal process,” Trump responded.
“If it were legal, if it were able to be legally shut down, I would do it,” he concluded.
He went on to say that he expected litigation to challenge the executive order. Critics argue that he does not have the constitutional authority to change the laws without a vote from Congress.
While much of the criticism against the president’s tweets related to those about a murder conspiracy theory about MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, the social media platform added a fact-check link to his tweets about mail-in voting.
Twitter’s stock price dropped by 4.45% on Thursday with many analysts attributing the lower valuation to the president’s order.
Here’s the video of the president’s statement:
Trump signs social media executive order