Twitter has taken the unprecedented step of labeling two tweets by President Trump as promoting misinformation.
The warnings are attached to missives Trump fired off Tuesday morning where he claimed that mail-in ballots are fraudulent and will lead to a “rigged election” in November.
It’s the first time the social media platform has annotated tweets from the President of the United States — arguably Twitter’s most prolific user who frequently airs grievances, sometimes containing dubious claims, to his 80 million followers.
The Twitter warning, which reads, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots,” links to a number of news articles debunking the president’s claims that the voting-by-mail process is rife with fraud.
Twitter’s decision to rebuke the president’s claims came after days of tweets from Trump about mail-in voting as well as his unsubstantiated allegations that MSNBC host and former Florida congressman Joe Scarborough may somehow have been involved in the 2001 death of his intern Lori Klausutis.
On Tuesday, it emerged that Klausutis’ widower wrote a letter to Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey asking him to remove the conspiratorial tweets about his wife’s death — saying they were incredibly upsetting.
“These conspiracy theorists, including most recently the President of the United States, continue to spread their bile and misinformation on your platform disparaging the memory of my wife and our marriage,” T.J. Klausutis wrote in the letter obtained by CNN.
A Twitter spokesperson on Tuesday apologized to Klausutis for the pain caused by Trump’s statements but declined to remove the tweets.
Trump was asked about Klausutis’ letter during a Rose Garden event Tuesday and said he had read it but declined to stop pushing the baseless claim that Scarborough was involved in his staffer’s death — even going so far as to suggest he was doing the family a favor.
The medical examiner ruled Klausutis’ death accidental, concluding she hit her head on a desk after passing out because of an undiagnosed heart condition.
“Have you seen the letter written by her husband begging Twitter to delete your tweets, talking about how hard it’s been for his family and him to deal with it?” one reporter asked Trump.
“Yeah I have, but I’m sure ultimately they want to get to the bottom of it and it’s a very serious situation,” Trump said.
“It’s a very suspicious thing, and I hope somebody gets to the bottom of it. It would be a very good thing. As you know, there’s no statute of limitations,” he continued.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Twitter’s action.
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