Trump weaponizes White House Twitter account to attack women senators


Your tax dollars are paying for this.

The Trump White House is abusing a federal, taxpayer-funded Twitter account to launch false attacks against women senators who oppose Trump's inhumane treatment of immigrants.

On Monday afternoon, the official White House Twitter account targeted Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris in a series of defamatory tweets accusing them of supporting criminals and gangs.

While Trump frequently uses his own Twitter feed to go after dissenters, this is the first time the White House account has been weaponized for such false and personal attacks.

In the first tweet, the White House targeted Warren, accusing her of "supporting criminals moving weapons, drugs, and victims across our nation’s borders." The tweet also included a link to the website of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), an agency that Warren has said she would like to see replaced "with something that reflects our values."

A short time later, the government account was used to launch a false smear against Harris, who recently called to "reexamine ICE and its role."

"@SenKamalaHarris, why are you supporting the animals of MS-13? You must not know what ICE really does. Here is a link to help you out," the White House tweeted along with a link to a press release describing two deportations earlier this month, including the removal from the U.S. of a Salvadoran with alleged ties to MS-13.

The use of official government social media accounts to attack political opponents is a strategy widely used by authoritarian regimes in countries like Russia, but not in democracies.

As documented in a 2017 report on state-sponsored social media manipulation, singling out political dissidents and opponents in this way is often done with the intent of promoting harassment against the targeted individual(s). The purpose is to silence those particular individuals, and also to send a warning to others who may be thinking of speaking out.

But Warren and Harris are not the only ones voicing their opposition to Trump's immigration policies.

Prosecutors from a U.S. Attorney's office in California recently warned that Trump's crackdown on unauthorized border crossings is diverting resources away from prosecuting major crimes, including drug-smuggling.

Even ICE agents have spoken out about Trump's anti-immigrant policies, saying they are preventing the agency from pursuing investigations into human trafficking, child pornography, and terrorism.

Clearly, Trump isn't actually interested in fighting crime — that's just the excuse he uses to act on his anti-immigrant bigotry.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.