Twitter will not remove Lindsey Graham’s tweet about Putin’s assassination

Senator Lindsey Graham’s tweet last week calling on the Russian people to assassinate President Vladimir Putin does not violate Twitter’s Terms of Service, the tech company told The Post.

“Is there a Brutus in Russia? Is there a more successful Colonel Stauffenberg in the Russian military? This can only end if someone in Russia takes out this guy.” Graham tweeteda Republican from South Carolina.

“You would be doing your country – and the world – a great service.”

“The only people who can fix this are the Russians,” Graham added in a second post on Thursday.

“Easier said than done. If you don’t want to live in darkness for the rest of your life, be isolated from the rest of the world in abject poverty and live in darkness, you have to put yourself at the top.”

Some Twitter users asked the company to remove Graham’s tweet, but he stayed online because the platform generally gives elected officials more freedom to express their opinions than ordinary citizens.

Twitter’s rules provide for a “public interest exception” in which government officials or elected officials are free to speak out “given the substantial public interest in knowing and being able to discuss their actions and statements.”

Twitter still chose to leave the post, despite its own rules stating that any government figure who tweeted a “declarative call to action that could harm a specific person or group” would censor the content.

Graham’s first post referred to Colonel Claus von Stauffenberg’s failed attempt to assassinate Adolf Hitler with a suitcase bomb on July 21, 1944 during a Nazi war council.

Graham challenged the Russian people to find one "brute" ready to eliminate their leader, Putin.
Graham urged the Russian people to find a “Brutus” willing to eliminate their leader, Putin.
AFP staff#AFP

Brutus is a reference to the former ally of the Roman Emperor Julius Caesar who would later betray him.

The senator was slammed for the tweet by some, including other Republican lawmakers, who called the news “off the joint.” Russia’s ambassador in Washington called it “unacceptable and outrageous”.

“While we all pray for peace and for the people of Ukraine, this is irresponsible, dangerous and out of control,” wrote another Republican, House Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, in response to Graham’s tweet.

“We need leaders with calm minds and enduring wisdom. No bloodthirsty warmongering politicians trying to tweet harshly by calling for assassination. Americans don’t want war.”

During Donald Trump’s presidency, Twitter came under intense pressure to remove tweets deemed by some to be extreme.

Russian soldiers ride military armored vehicles on the road near Kyiv.
Putin has become an international pariah after ordering his military to invade Ukraine.

When relations with North Korea were strained and Kim Jong-un was testing missiles, Trump boasted he had a “much bigger” and “stronger” nuclear button.

Twitter added a disclaimer to a Trump tweet during the unrest following the death of George Floyd, in which the then-president said, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.”

Twitter and other social media platforms banned Trump altogether after the Jan. 6 riots in the US Capitol. Twitter will not remove Lindsey Graham’s tweet about Putin’s assassination


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