Twitter bans Trump, citing risk of incitement

The president's Twitter account as seen Friday evening
PHOTOGRAPHER:
The president's Twitter account as seen Friday evening

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the fallout of the storming of the Capitol by a mob of pro-Trump loyalists (all times local):

6:30 p.m.

Twitter says it is banning President Donald Trump from its platform, citing “risk of further incitement of violence.”

The social media giant said Friday: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them — specifically how they are being received and interpreted on and off Twitter — we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Trump was locked out of his account on his preferred social medial platform for 12 hours earlier this week after a violent mob loyal to him stormed the U.S. Capitol to try to stop Congress from affirming President-elect Joe Biden’s victory.

Trump posted a video on Twitter calling them “very special” people and saying he loved them. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.

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5:25 p.m.

Twitter has banned President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn and pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell as part of a purge of QAnon accounts following the storming of the U.S. Capitol by a mob of violent Trump supporters.

Social media companies have been under intensified pressure to crack down on hate speech after Wednesday’s attack on the Capitol. Dozens of QAnon social media accounts were hyping up Jan. 6 in the days leading up to a Washington, D.C., rally for Trump, expressing hope that President-elect Joe Biden’s victory would be overturned.

Twitter said in an email statement Friday: “Given the renewed potential for violence surrounding this type of behavior in the coming days, we will permanently suspend accounts that are solely dedicated to sharing QAnon content.”

The company says that when it determines a group or campaign is engaged in “coordinated harmful activity,” it may suspend accounts that it finds primarily encourages that behavior.

QAnon is a baseless belief, born on the internet, that Trump has been secretly fighting deep state enemies and a cabal of Satan-worshipping cannibals operating a child sex-trafficking ring.

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4:55 p.m.

Sen. Lisa Murkowski of Alaska has become the first Republican member of the Senate to call for President Donald Trump’s resignation.

The Alaska Republican tells the Anchorage Daily News that she wants Trump to resign after a violent mob of his supporters stormed the Capitol, forcing a lockdown. Five people died, including a Capitol Police officer.

Murkowski said in a telephone interview Friday: “I want him out. He has caused enough damage.” She also questioned whether she wanted to remain a Republican.

She says many people felt she became an independent when she lost her Republican primary in 2010 but won the general election by write-in. She has been in the Senate since 2002, replacing her father, Frank Murkowski, who took office in 1981.

“If the Republican Party has become nothing more than the party of Trump, I sincerely question whether this is the party for me,” she said.

She adds, “He needs to get out. He needs to do the good thing, but I don’t think he’s capable of doing a good thing.”

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3:05 p.m.

President-elect Joe Biden says it’s up to Congress whether to pursue a second impeachment of President Donald Trump, but he expected lawmakers to be ready to move on his agenda as soon as he is inaugurated.

Biden’s comments to reporters came after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said in a Friday letter to lawmakers that House Democrats would move to impeach Trump again if he did not resign immediately. Pelosi and other lawmakers have pressured Trump to step down after Wednesday’s attack on the U.S. Capitol by a pro-Trump mob that lawmakers in both parties said was incited by Trump.

Asked what he’d tell lawmakers about Pelosi’s push for impeachment, Biden responded, “I’d tell them that’s a decision for the Congress to make. I’m focused on my job.”

Biden added that he would be speaking with Pelosi and Democratic leadership later Friday.

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