May 28, 2020 at 4:48 p.m. GMT+2
President Trump is set to roll out a new executive order designed to punish Twitter for daring to attach a mild fact-check to his false tweets about vote-by-mail. This debate will get thorny, so let’s first state clearly exactly what Trump is trying to accomplish here:
- Trump wants to be able to lie on Twitter and other platforms with total impunity, free of any fact-checking.
- Trump doesn’t want Twitter to inform people of options for voting safely amid a pandemic, in hopes that fear of sickness and death will discourage voting and keep turnout low, to his benefit.
Now that Trump is trying to use the power of the state toward those profoundly corrupt goals, this marks a new low for Trump’s legacy of lies.
When you view all of the lies in one place — he has told more than 16,000 — the effect is striking. And this larger context is crucial to understanding Trump’s new legal assault on Twitter.