Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., on Monday reaffirmed her position on the First Amendment as the only Democrat to criticize Twitter’s decision to suppress a New York Post story on Hunter Biden’s laptop.
On Friday, journalist Matt Taibbi released the “Twitter Files,” courtesy of Twitter CEO Elon Musk, revealing communications between political figures and employees at the company. Among them was a decision to ban users from sharing a New York Post story in October 2020 about the discovery of Hunter Biden’s laptop at a repair shop in Delaware.
Hanna, Taibbi said, was the only Democratic official in the files to reach out to Twitter executives, citing concerns about the New York Post’s First Amendment rights.
The California lawmaker stood by his comments in an interview with CNN’s Erin Burnett and called on more Democrats to stand up for free speech.
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“What surprised me was that Twitter made the decision to censor in the first place. Look, liberal Democrats are supposed to be for the principle of First Amendment speech protections. [New York Times Co. v. Sullivan] we want the freedom of speech to be open and wide-ranging without obstacles, he said. I understand the private actor of Twitter, but they are a modern public space. And it upset me that they suppressed the New York Post,” Hanna said.
He also continued to stand by his statements in his emails.
“Look, we all wrote e-mails and I’m glad they published it. I’m sure I wrote things that I didn’t think much of. But when I read it, I said I stand by every word. I’m partial to politics because American democracy is great. I’m here because I believe everyone can raise their voice and participate in the conversation.. And I hope that more Democrats will stand up for the broader principle that we want to be. Uncensored, allowing all points of view. forums,” he said.
Several mainstream media pundits and Democratic figures have tried to downplay the “Twitter Files” as well as the Hunter Biden laptop story. White House press secretary Karin Jean-Pierre said the release of the files was a “distraction” orchestrated by Musk to promote “old news.”
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Regardless of his reaction to the story, Khanna insisted that the issue had nothing to do with content and more to do with curbing journalism.
“It was about a New York Post reporter writing an article about the situation. And even if that source got that information through a hack, there’s no reason to suppress it. It’s about the Pentagon Papers. “Journalists should be allowed to publish as long as they don’t participate in hacking,” Hanna said.
Hanna also called on the FBI to be more transparent about its reasons for alerting Twitter about “hacking and leak operations” by “state actors” including Hunter Biden, which prompted the decision.
“I think it’s very appropriate to ask questions and have full transparency and allow the facts to come out. So the FBI needs to explain what they’re doing and what their rationale is. I certainly hope and expect that they will They didn’t try to do it. Do it to show Twitter for or against a particular candidate,” Hanna said.