Lauren Boebert Pulls Out Literal Giant Surprise from Elon Musk's Staff Seconds After Twitter Execs Lie to Her Face
GOP Rep. Lauren Boebert of Colorado led some former Twitter executives down the primrose path during a congressional hearing Wednesday, only to spring a surprise on them.
The House Oversight and Accountability Committee conducted a hearing regarding Twitter’s past censorship policies, particularly in relation to the Hunter Biden laptop story.
Yoel Roth, Twitter’s former head of trust and safety; Vijaya Gadde, former chief legal counsel; and James Baker, former Twitter deputy general counsel (and former FBI general counsel), were all on hand for a grilling.
Boebert began her questioning of the former executives by quoting from a tweet from the “Twitter Files” made by journalist Matt Taibbi in December.
“Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary,” Taibbi said.
3. Twitter’s contact with the FBI was constant and pervasive, as if it were a subsidiary.
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) December 16, 2022
“Mr. Roth, while at Twitter, how many meetings did you have with the FBI?” Boebert asked.
“I couldn’t say for sure but I would say –,” Roth began to answer.
“More than 10?” the congresswoman interjected.
“That’s a reasonable estimate,” he responded.
“More than 20?” she followed up, which brought Roth back to his original stance of being uncertain of the number.
Asked if the total was more than 50, Roth responded, “That seems a bit high.”
The New York Post reported in December that the FBI held weekly meetings with Twitter and Facebook during the 2020 presidential campaign.
Boebert next asked how many former FBI agents were working at Twitter.
Roth said that he knew of two.
The congresswoman responded there was actually a group chat made up of nine former FBI agents at the company.
“It’s almost impossible to tell where the FBI ends and where Twitter begins,” she asserted. “We have Mr. Baker here, a former FBI agent, and there seems to be a revolving door between the FBI and Twitter itself.”
Boebert said Baker had previously stated there was no collusion with the federal government and Twitter, to which she said, “Mr. Baker, that’s you. You are the collusion between the federal government and the FBI.”
The congresswoman asked Roth and Gadde if either had approved the shadow banning of her Twitter account.
Roth said he did not, while Gadde answered, “Not to the best of my recollection.”
In law school, students are instructed not to ask a question of a witness at trial you don’t already know the answer to, and Boebert appeared to follow that counsel.
Boebert announced she was in fact shadow banned in early 2021 just after she took office.
From January 9, 2021 until April 9, 2021 I was shadowbanned on Twitter.
This has now been confirmed.
I would watch my followers go up but never increase past a certain number.
Yes, as a sitting Representative.
If they did this to me, imagine what they did to everyone else!
— Lauren Boebert (@laurenboebert) February 8, 2023
“For members of Congress to be shadow banned, it had to go before you, Mr. Roth,” she said, citing Twitter policy.
“So I’ll ask again, did you shadow ban my account, yes or no?” Boebert questioned.
Roth followed Gadde’s lead responding, “Not to the best of my knowledge.”
“So the answer is, Mr. Roth, yes you did,” Boebert fired back. “I found out last night from Twitter staff that you suppressed my account” for a joke she tweeted about Hillary Clinton being angry that she couldn’t rig her election.
“You placed a 90-day account filter so I could not be found,” she said.
Proof of that was then set up behind her in the form of a large poster board showing documentation that she had received a “misinformation” strike from Twitter and her account had been given an “aggressive visibility filter.”
“You silenced members of Congress from communicating with their constituents,” Boebert argued. “You silenced me from communicating with the American people over a freaking joke.”
“Now who the hell do you think that you are?” the lawmaker angrily asked.
Rep. @laurenboebert wipes the floor with Yoel Roth: “You silenced me from communicating with the American people over a fricken’ joke. Who the hell do you think you are?” pic.twitter.com/46UmTRV7RC
— Media Research Center (@theMRC) February 8, 2023
Boebert charged that election interference was taking place in 2020 and Twitter was the culprit.
“I am angry for the millions of Americans who were silenced because of your decisions, because of your actions, because of your collusion with the federal government,” she concluded.
On Thursday, Boebert introduced the ELON Act — an acronym for “Exposing Lewd Outlays for social Networking companies” that also happens to be the first name of Twitter’s new CEO, Elon Musk.
The legislation would require the federal government to reveal how much in payments it has made to big tech companies. It also would impose a one-year moratorium on any payments going from the FBI to Big Tech companies.
“The millions of dollars sent to Twitter that we know of during an election cycle, when they were at the same time censoring the Hunter Biden laptop from hell, is incredibly concerning,” Boebert said in a statement.
Fox News reported in December that the FBI confirmed it paid nearly $3.5 million to Twitter for “reimbursement” for the “reasonable costs and expenses associated with their response to a legal process … For complying with legal requests, and a standard procedure.”
Journalist Michael Shellenberger wrote about it in a “Twitter Files” release that month.
46. The FBI’s influence campaign may have been helped by the fact that it was paying Twitter millions of dollars for its staff time.
“I am happy to report we have collected $3,415,323 since October 2019!” reports an associate of Jim Baker in early 2021. pic.twitter.com/SmNse97QxK
— Michael Shellenberger (@ShellenbergerMD) December 19, 2022
Musk tweeted in response, “Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public.”
Government paid Twitter millions of dollars to censor info from the public https://t.co/eSEwcZlGjt
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 20, 2022
Boebert did a masterful job holding the former Twitter executives’ feet to the fire.
Free speech is essential to the American experiment in liberty.
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