White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany criticized Twitter on Friday for warning US President Donald Trump multiple times on posting controversial content while allegedly ignoring genocidal statements calling for Israel's destruction from Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei.
When asked about Twitter's content monitoring policies, McEnany said “I thought it was very eye opening and it tells you where these social media companies stand, where they’re not willing to assess the Ayatollah Khomeini’s tweets but they are willing to assess President Trump’s tweets.”
“It’s really appalling and it just speaks to their overwhelming, blinding bias against conservatives and against this president,” she added.
Regarding possible actions against the social media giant, McEnany said that the administration is sending a petition to the Federal Communications Commission, which may make the company liable to “civil lawsuits for their own speech, fact checks and de-platforming.”
The comments from the press secretary came following a meeting between the head of Twitter policy for the Nordics and Israel Ylwa Pettersson via video link and the Knesset Immigration, Absorption and Diaspora Affairs Committee on Wednesday.
During the meeting, Israel Jewish Congress executive director Arsen Ostrovsky share a similar argument and pointed out that Twitter has been appending notices pointing out violations of their hate speech policies to tweets by US President Donald Trump, such as one where he wrote “when the looting starts, the shooting starts.”
In response, Ylwa Pettersson said that “We have an approach to world leaders that presently says direct interactions with public figures, comments on political issues of the day or foreign policy saber-rattling on military and economic issues are generally not in violation of Twitter rules.”
Blue and White MK Michal Cotler-Wunsh, who called the meeting, interjected: “Calling for genocide is OK, but commenting on political situations is not?”
Pettersson responded: “If a world leader violates our rules, but it is a clear interest in keeping that up on the service, we may place it behind a note that provides more information about the violation… That is what happened with Trump’s tweet… based on the historical context of the last line of that tweet and the risk that it could possibly inspire harm.”
It is important to leave up politicians’ statements “for citizens to see what their political representatives say and hold them accountable,” she added.
Cotler-Wunsh accused Twitter of a “double standard,” calling for Twitter and other platforms to make a change.
Cotler-Wunsh also called on Twitter to use the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance’s full definition of antisemitism as a standard for hate speech against Jews, and Pettersson said it is used to train moderators.
Lahav Harkov contributed to this report.