Conservative social media CEO mulls suing blogger for 'dishonest' charge of role in Jan. 6 violence
"It's a completely fabricated story," CloutHub CEO Jeff Brain said.
Following several stories claiming that CloutHub CEO Jeff Brain and his social media platform played a "role in the violent attack on the Capitol," the CloutHub founder denounced them as "dishonest" and said he is consulting attorneys on possible legal action against the author.
The original article in "The Uprising" by Hunter Walker said that a CloutHub group called "Patriot Caravans for 45" had "violent overtones," despite Brain writing in a post on the group that users should "Report Anyone posting inappropriate content or discussion of violence & they will be deleted from the group."
Walker wrote in his article that there were three users who posted in the group that contributed to the violent tonality, named "Jaybirdy," "MrM1A2," and "Teeree." He said that "Jaybirdy" had "indicated they were leading a planning meeting in the D.C. suburb of Arlington, Virginia. 'Jaybirdy' described themself by boasting about their skill with guns. 'Good patriot. Good manners. Good shot,' Jaybirdy wrote."
Walker also mentioned that "'MrM1A2,' an apparent reference to a battle tank, noted their military experience and equipment as they sought a ride to the Capitol from Florida. 'COMBAT VETERAN JUST LOST MY RIDE FROM NAPLES FL to DC HAVE EXTRA WALKIE TALKIES AND SUPPLIES,' MrM1A2 wrote."
Lastly, according to Walker, "Teeree" had "discussed plans to rent a bus and noted Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser was preparing for potential violence at the protests. 'NO LUNCH BREAK ON THE BUS!' Teeree wrote. 'There’s a rumor the Mayor of DC may shut the city down. Bring sammiches or other snackables for that eventuality.'"
In an interview with Just the News on Wednesday, Brain said that there were "no violent posts in the group." He explained how Walker "mischaracterized completely" the users that were mentioned.
According to Brain, none of those users posted in the "Patriot Caravans for 45" group or wrote any violent posts, and the group was used for "peaceful purposes only." He said that "'Jaybirdy' never discussed marksmanship. In her profile, it says 'Good patriot. Good manners. Good shot.'"
User "MrM1A2" had "just said they were a combat veteran," Brain said. The third user who was discussed, "Teeree," just "mentioned sharing a bus — no violence," Brain added, and that the "planning meeting" was "completely made up, never mentioned" because it was only to see who was in the area to get together.
Brain said that the story was "completely contrived" and that "they're trying to ding CloutHub." He continued, "From the start, have had a clean and responsible platform — no hate, porn, or violence."
"Everyone on our platform knows not to discuss violence," Brain added. "I could show you on Facebook and Twitter where they do discuss violence. Out of thousands of posts, no one talked about the Capitol, guns, violence, or protest or unrest. We've worked hard to keep this platform responsible and clean, and we're proud of it because people can have civil conversations."
Regarding the article, Brain said that Walker conflated the organization of transportation to D.C. by the "Patriot Caravans for 45" group with people who were at the Capitol building, even though the Capitol, an uprising, or unrest were never mentioned on the CloutHub group.
Brain responded, "I had no role — I was in California. That was dishonest, he'll be held liable for that statement."
Brain said he is "consulting attorneys, and I think we have very good case, and he should be held accountable for what he puts out there. At least be honest. He should at the very least retract it, it's a completely fabricated story."
Brain added, "We put out statement saying we weren't involved in any Capitol activity. His wording shows how dishonest his intent was."
Walker's original article also claims that on CloutHub, "much of the content on the site is focused on the QAnon conspiracy theory." Brain responded, saying that's "not true. There is just one QAnon group out of hundreds of groups."
When asked for comment, Walker referred to the links provided in his article, and called Just the News Editor in Chief John Solomon a "widely discredited partisan hack." He followed up with a link to a Twitter thread he posted following his comment.
Brain also reacted to the recent ban on Twitter in Nigeria, saying Twitter's response was "ironic that they say free speech is a human right because people say censorship on Facebook and Twitter violates their right to speak."
Regarding reports that President Trump is considering joining CloutHub, Brain said: "We believe we're the right platform for him because other platforms people just post. On our platform, it's about doing, advocate, influence elections, decisions on issues. He can come on CloutHub and mobilize his base for candidates, legislation, policy, which is why we'd be good platform for Trump and any other politician or elected official. We welcome everybody."