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Ex-FBI general counsel tried to get Trump tweet 'Don’t be afraid of Covid' censored: Twitter files

Then-head of trust and safety tells Jim Baker that a "broad, optimistic statement" doesn't violate Twitter rules.

Published: December 26, 2022 6:05pm

Updated: December 26, 2022 6:41pm

President Trump's enthusiasm about beating a COVID-19 infection in fall 2020 so upset Twitter's then-deputy general counsel that he unsuccessfully tried to get the tweet removed, according to the latest Twitter Files release.

It was analyzed by reporter David Zweig, who called the exchange between Twitter's Jim Baker, a former FBI general counsel, and then-head of trust and safety Yoel Roth "surreal." 

"Feeling really good!" Trump tweeted as he left the Walter Reed Medical Center. "Don't be afraid of Covid. Don't let it dominate your life." Trump referred to "some really great drugs & knowledge" developed in his administration: "I feel better than I did 20 years ago!"

Baker emailed Roth to ask why the tweet didn't violate Twitter's COVID policy, pointing to the "Don't be afraid" exhortation. Roth responded that Trump simply made a "broad, optimistic statement" that "doesn't incite people to do something harmful" or advocating against guidelines such as masking.


New Twitter owner Elon Musk fired Baker for his "unconvincing" explanation of why Baker was covertly reviewing the first installment of the Twitter Files before they were given to journalists to review and publicize.

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