President Trump suggested the U.S. government might sue technology giants including Facebook and Google — though he didn’t spell out what the basis for such lawsuits might be — while he once again railed against the supposed anti-conservative bias of Silicon Valley companies.
In an interview Wednesday with Fox Business Network, he took issue with the European Commission’s moves to impose antitrust penalties against tech companies including Google.
“Look, we should be suing Google and Facebook and all that, which perhaps we will, OK?” Trump said in the interview.
The U.S. Department of Justice and the FTC are said to be considering launching antitrust investigations into Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple. Politicians including Sen. Elizabeth Warren have called for the breakup of massive technology companies, but experts say that course of action is a high legal bar that’s unlikely to play out anytime soon.
Meanwhile, Trump asserted that Big Tech companies are “all Democrats” and that their services are “totally biased toward Democrats.” Inexplicably, he argued that Twitter — where Trump has over 61 million followers — makes it difficult for people to follow him on the platform. Trump famously uses Twitter to post announcements and rants on a daily basis.
“What they did to me on Twitter is incredible,” he said. “I have millions and millions of followers, but I will tell you, they make it very hard for people to join me [on] Twitter and they make it very much harder for me to get out the message.”
In the interview with Fox Business, Trump also called out alleged bias by Google, referring to video footage released Monday by conservative group Project Veritas (which is notorious for using deceptive tactics) that purports to show a Google executive saying the company should be working to prevent “the next Trump situation.”
Trump said Twitter “should be sued because what’s happening with the bias,” and added, “now you see it with that executive yesterday from Google. The hatred for the Republicans. It’s not even like, ‘Gee! Let’s lean Democrat.'”
In response to Trump’s comments, a Google rep said, “We build our products with extraordinary care and safeguards to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without any regard for political viewpoint. Our rating guidelines are publicly visible for all to see.”
Regarding the Project Veritas video, the Google exec in question — Jen Gennai, the company’s head of responsible innovation, global affairs — posted a blog response in which she said in part, “Unfortunately, I now know that these people lied about their true identities, filmed me without my consent, selectively edited and spliced the video to distort my words and the actions of my employer, and published it widely online.” She said the “Trump situation” she referred to was about how Google’s Trust and Safety team is working to help prevent the kinds of online foreign interference that happened in during the 2016 election.
Trump, over the course of the rambling phone interview with Fox Business anchor Maria Bartiromo, also lashed out against Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is scheduled to testify to Congress on July 17 about his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election and Trump’s involvement. Trump claimed that Mueller “terminated the emails… He terminated them. They’re gone. And that’s illegal. That’s a crime,” with no indication of what emails he was referring to.