A top advisor to Vice President Joe Biden defended Twitter and Facebook’s controversial decision to block a New York Post story about the Democratic candidate’s son, telling Yahoo Finance that the expose was part of a “misinformation” campaign.
A firestorm has erupted over the younger Biden’s business dealings, news of which landed just as the highly polarizing White House campaign comes to a conclusion. President Donald Trump’s reelection campaign has made hay with The Post’s bombshell, initially blocked by the two major social networks, while Biden’s camp dismissed it as political dirty tricks.
Amid questions over the veracity of the newspaper’s report, and whether the Democratic nominee was aware of what his son was up to, Biden campaign senior advisor Karine Jean-Pierre said that social media platforms were right to cut off access to The Post’s expose.
“The role of social media is to make sure that lies and conspiracy theories and things that are incredibly harmful to all Americans should not be out there because it’s misinformation and it could be incredibly dangerous,” she told Yahoo Finance in a recent interview.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey later apologized for blocking users from accessing the story, which did little to quell growing GOP opposition to how big tech companies leverage their power over public discourse.
Ahead of Thursday’s debate, the clamor over Hunter Biden has only grown louder, with Trump all but assured to pressure his opponent on the subject. Texas Republican Senator Ted Cruz blasted Big Tech’s influence in a Yahoo Finance interview this week, while GOP Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) criticized the media for not covering his committee’s 87-page report investigating the Biden family.
“Hunter Biden, together with other Biden family members, profited off the Biden name. That’s what’s happening here,” Johnson told Fox News on Monday. Earlier this week, the ex-VP — who leads Trump in most major polling — denied the legitimacy of the accusations.
With both campaigns trading accusations that the other is distorting the truth, Jean-Pierre insisted that “we have to be responsible. The media has to be responsible. Social media platforms has to be responsible. We cannot have this misinformation creep into our democracy,” she added.
Jean-Pierre invoked the president’s impeachment proceedings, which were fueled in part by Trump attempting to leverage U.S. diplomatic ties with Ukraine to obtain damaging information on his soon-to-be opponent. The president was charged by Congress, but acquitted in the Senate in February.
“That’s one of the reasons Donald Trump was impeached by the House because he was trying to cheat. He was so afraid of Joe Biden, he was trying to cheat and he got caught and he was impeached by the House,” Jean-Pierre added.
Calling Trump’s pushing of the Hunter Biden story “desperation” and “distraction,” Jean-Pierre told Yahoo Finance that Biden’s campaign was attempting to “cut through the lies...cut through the noise, talk directly to the American people.”
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