Senator Kamala Harris took on Senator Elizabeth Warren for not wanting Twitter to delete President Trump's account at the CNN/NYT Democratic presidential primary debate on Tuesday during a discussion on breaking up Big Tech. Harris said Trump uses Twitter to "obstruct justice" and urged Warren to agree with her because it "is a matter of safety."
"I would urge you to join me because here we have Donald Trump who has 65 million Twitter followers and is using that platform as the presidents of the United States to openly intimidate witnesses, to threaten witnesses, to obstruct justice and he and his account should be taken down," Harris said to Warren.
"This is a matter, you are saying, of holding big tech accountable because they have an outsized influence on people's perceptions about issues and they actually influence behaviors. We all have to agree this is there power. It is immense," Harris said. "And so, what I am saying is that it seems to me that you would be able to join me in saying the rule has to apply to Twitter the same way it does to Facebook."
The CNN whistleblower recorded CNN President Jeff Zucker pushing the network to do segments asking should Trump's Twitter account be suspended after Harris began her campaign to ban the president from Twitter.
BREAKING: CNN President Jeff Zucker Pushes Kamala Harris’ Demand to Take Down Trump’s Twitter Account; “I Think it’s a Good Segment…Not Going to Happen, But it’s a Good Talking – it’s a Good Segment.”— James O'Keefe (@JamesOKeefeIII) October 15, 2019
Thoughts on this @realDonaldTrump?#ExposeCNN pic.twitter.com/qQwV2g0r82
MARC LACEY, NEW YORK TIMES, MODERATOR: Thank you. Senator--Senator Harris, to you. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg says that splitting up big tech companies will make election interference more likely because the companies won't be able to work together to fight it. Could breaking up these companies make these spread of disinformation worse?
HARRIS: No, I don't agree with that at all and serving on the Senate intelligence committee working with Amy Klobuchar on what we need to do to upgrade the elections infrastructure knowing that Russia needs to be held accountable for the fact that they interfered in the election of the presidents of the United States and it will attempt to do it again that--that is a ridiculous argument he is making but I do want to also say this. What we are talking about is a grave injustice. When rules apply to some but not equally to all and in particular when the rules that apply to the powerless don't apply to the powerful and so Senator Warren I just want to say that I was surprised to hear that you did not agree with me that on this subject of what should be the rules around corporate responsibility for these big tech companies when I called on Twitter to suspend Donald Trump's account that you did not agree and I would--I would urge you to join me because here we have Donald Trump who has 65 million Twitter followers and is using that platform as the presidents of the United States to openly intimidate witnesses, to threaten witnesses, to obstruct justice and he and his account should be taken down.
We saw in El Paso that that shooter in his manifesto was informed by how Donald Trump uses that platform and this is a matter of corporate responsibility. Twitter should be held accountable and shut down that site. It is a matter of safety and corporate accountability.
LACEY: Thank you. Senator Warren, you can respond.
WARREN: So look I don't just want to push Donald Trump off twitter, I want to push him out of the White House, that is our job.
HARRIS: (INAUDIBLE) so join me if you will - make join me in saying that his twitter account should be shut down.
WARREN: But let's figure--let's figure out--
WARREN: --why it is that we have had laws on the books for antitrust for over a century and yet for decades now we have all called on how the big drug companies are calling the shots in Washington, big bag, how the gun industry, big tech, you know we really need to address the elephant in the room and that is how campaigns are financed.
HARRIS: You can't say you are for corporate responsibility--
WARREN: I announced this morning--
HARRIS: -- If it doesn't apply to everyone.
WARREN: I announced this morning that I'm not going to take any money from big tech executives, from Wall Street executives. We have already agreed Bernie and I, we are not taking any money from big Pharma executives. You can't go behind closed doors and take the money of these executives and then turn around and expect that these are the people who are actually finally going to enforce the laws.
WARREN: We need campaign finance rules--
LACEY: --Thank you, Senator Warren--
WARREN: --And practices--
LACEY: --Senator Harris--
HARRIS: --You can't--you--
WARREN: --That support us all--
HARRIS: --You--it is--it does not represent a system of justice to say that the rules will apply differently to different people. This is a matter, you are saying, of holding big tech accountable--
HARRIS: --holding big tech accountable because they have an outsized influence on people's perceptions about issues and they actually influence behaviors. We all have to agree this is there power. It is immense. So--
LACEY: --Senator Klobuchar, let me--
HARRIS: --you can--
LACEY: --bring you in here--
HARRIS: --I'm not--
WARREN: --So, wait a minute--
LACEY: --Your response--
HARRIS: --I'm not--I'm not finished.
KLOBUCHAR: Thank you. As I said--
HARRIS: --I'm not finished--
KLOBUCHAR: --I head up the--
HARRIS: --And so, what I am saying is that it seems to me that you would be able to join me in saying the rule has to apply to Twitter the same way it does to Facebook.
WARREN: Look, I think all of the rules should apply across the board. I don't have a problem with that.
HARRIS: So, you will join me--
WARREN: --What I do--
HARRIS: --In saying Twitter shut down--
WARREN: --have a problem with--
HARRIS: --That account--
WARREN: --is that if we're going to talk seriously about breaking up big tech, then we should ask if people are taking money from the big tech executives. If we're going to talk seriously about breaking up big drug companies, we should ask if people are financing their campaigns by taking money from big drug executives.
If we are going to talk about Wall Street and having some serious regulation over Wall Street, we should ask if people are funding their campaigns by taking money from those executives.
LACEY: Thank you, Senator.