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The Trump family is extremely online today, and they’re all over the place with their messaging.
On Friday morning, Twitter hid another one of Donald Trump’s tweets and slapped a warning label on it. Trump’s statement about the protests over the death of George Floyd — which included the phrase, “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” — violated the site’s rules about glorifying violence, and many horrified users agreed. (For background, that phrase was first spoken in 1967 by Miami police chief, Walter Headley, when explaining that his force “didn’t mind being accused of police brutality.”)
This is part of an ongoing fight between the social media platforms and the president, who yesterday signed an executive order intended to intimidate these companies against getting in the way of him spreading (often false) information to his followers.
After Twitter took action against Trump’s tweet on Friday morning, the official White House Twitter account re-tweeted the president’s words. (Twitter eventually censored that tweet as well.) But as Trump’s unpresidential, divisive messages came under fire, his family members logged on and tried to do their best to clean up his mess.
It’s rare to see the majority of the Trump family commenting online at the same time, but on Friday Melania, Ivanka, Donald Trump Jr., Eric, and even Lara shared their thoughts on the chaos that’s unfolding in Minnesota and Twitter’s actions against the president.
The tweets, however, all carried fairly inconsistent messages.
Melania called for peace and offered her deepest condolences to George Floyd’s family. She also asked that we focus on “peace, prayers & healing” as a nation, which directly contradicts her husband’s call to send the National Guard to Minnesota and use violence if necessary to get the situation under control.
Our country allows for peaceful protests, but there is no reason for violence. I’ve seen our citizens unify & take care of one another through COVID19 & we can’t stop now. My deepest condolences to the family of George Floyd. As a nation, let’s focus on peace, prayers & healing.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) May 29, 2020
Ivanka chose not to address the protests at all. She simply said the people in Minneapolis “are hurting for a reason” and that her heart goes out to Floyd’s family and all hurting Americans.
“Justice is how we heal,” she wrote — providing a stark contrast in tone to her father’s tweets.
People in Minneapolis are hurting for a reason. Justice is how we heal.
My heart goes out to George Floyd‘s family and all Americans who are hurting.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) May 29, 2020
Meanwhile, Donald Trump Jr., spent much of the morning trying to disparage Joe Biden, Ilhan Omar, and Jack Dorsey. But he did take some time to address the protests.
What happened to George Floyd was disgusting. He should be alive today & I’m praying for his family
People are right to be angry, but there’s never an excuse for the type of violent riots unfolding now
No American should ever have to watch their own community burn to the ground https://t.co/b7Q0kljGW4
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) May 29, 2020
Eric Trump also took shots at Joe Biden and came for Twitter on Friday morning, and Lara Trump said that although a murder was committed, other crimes are now also taking place in Minnesota.
Aside from the outward facing bias of @Twitter, there is hardly a single influential conservative on this platform who doesn’t believe their account has been negatively manipulated & influenced behind the scenes. I’m thrilled to see @realDonaldTrump take decisive action.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) May 29, 2020
Illegal and should absolutely be prosecuted to the full extent of the law:
Murder And as a reminder, also illegal:
Theft and arson
— Lara Trump (@LaraLeaTrump) May 29, 2020
It’s really striking to see that Trump and several of his family members seem more concerned with taking down Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey that dealing with the devastating events in Minneapolis, a deadly pandemic, and an unfolding economic crisis. But the president seems to be leaning in.
Since the social platform fact-checked one of Trump’s tweets about mail-in ballots earlier this week, he’s been firing off unhinged rants and accusing Twitter of trying to stifle free speech.
Even today, as the people continue to mourn the loss of George Floyd and plead for justice, Trump is bashing Twitter on Twitter. So is the White House account.
Twitter is doing nothing about all of the lies & propaganda being put out by China or the Radical Left Democrat Party. They have targeted Republicans, Conservatives & the President of the United States. Section 230 should be revoked by Congress. Until then, it will be regulated!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 29, 2020
In times of deep sorrow and nationwide distress, this is not what a president’s Twitter account should look like. Americans should be able to count on the president and those associated with the White House to — at the very least — not further divide the nation or incite violence.