- President Donald Trump’s Twitter account was taken down Thursday evening for 11 minutes by an outgoing Twitter employee. Trump hailed the event as confirmation that he’s “getting out” his message. Twitter has a history of unevenly enforcing its rules, and the breach of Trump’s account drew concern over the company’s security.
- @realDonaldTrump via Twitter
President Donald Trump has responded to the “rogue” Twitter employee who took down his account for 11 minutes at approximately 7 p.m. ET on Thursday evening.
“My Twitter account was taken down for 11 minutes by a rogue employee. I guess the word must finally be getting out-and having an impact,” Trump tweeted.
Twitter initially said Trump’s account had been taken down “inadvertently,” but it followed up hours later saying it was done by a “customer support employee who did this on the employee’s last day of work,” suggesting a stunt pulled by an employee.
With nearly 42 million followers, Trump has wielded his Twitter account in a way no other president, and perhaps no other person, has before.
Trump has used the platform both to launch personal attacks on his enemies’ appearance and to engage in nuclear brinkmanship with North Korea.
Trump used Twitter this week to call for the suspect in Tuesday’s New York City truck attack to be executed.
While Twitter does have rules against inciting violence on the platform, they have been applied unevenly. Roger Stone, a longtime Republican strategist who has served as an informal adviser to Trump, has said he plans to sue Twitter over suspending his account after he attacked CNN personalities.
“It’s funny people on twitter threaten to kill me, my wife , my children and even my dogs but they are not banned,” Stone said in a text message.
After the wave of accusations of sexual misconduct against Harvey Weinstein surfaced, Twitter made the deeply unpopular decision to suspend the Twitter account of Rose McGowan after the actress accused Ben Affleck of lying about his knowledge of Weinstein’s acts.
Business Insider’s Alexei Oreskovic called the outgoing Twitter employee’s move a “glaring security issue,” saying the employee seemed to have full access to Trump’s account and in theory could have tweeted a declaration of war against North Korea from an account the White House maintains is an official channel of the president.