Enrique Tarrio, the chairman of the Proud Boys, has been banned from Twitter following the group’s mention at the first presidential debate.
In the first presidential debate, President Trump refused to condemn the Proud Boys, the pro-West group founded by Gavin McInnes who have been falsely labelled as white supremacists. President Trump instructed the Proud Boys and other groups to “stand back and stand by.” He instead slammed antifa, saying that political violence is “not a right wing problem.”
PROUD BOYS – STAND BY
– President Trump pic.twitter.com/sXdLru2xPq
— Harrison Hill Smith (@Harrison_of_TX) September 30, 2020
Following the debate, Tarrio put out a statement on Twitter on his thoughts on the situation:
Although I am excited about our mention on the debate stage… I am not taking this as a direct endorsement from the President. He did an excellent job and was asked a VERY pointed question. The question was in reference to WHITE SUPREMACY… which we are not. Him telling the Proud Boys to stand back and standby is what we have ALWAYS done. I am extremely PROUD of my President’s performance tonight.
However, following the publication of the statement, and the increase in media attention on Tarrio and the Proud Boys, Tarrio was permanently banned from Twitter. This was his second removal from the platform, as he had returned to site following President Trump’s Section 230 executive order earlier this year, as he decided to “stress test” the implementation of the order.
The order threatened to strip Big Tech companies of their “liability shield,” which gives them certain protections from what people post on their site under the Communications and Decency Act, if they engage in “censoring or any political conduct.”
Tarrio spoke exclusively to National File about his removal from Twitter, noting that his account had only lasted so long because he rarely used it:
But I was happy I got to use it to send the message to clear up this white supremacy label that Joe Biden is labeling me as. It is ironic that Biden is calling a person of color a white supremacist, but it’s not surprising, because he said, and I quote “If you’re not voting for me, you’re not black.” I definitely see it as an attack on my character because I’m not voting for him.