Rep. Banks' Twitter account suspended over calling transgender HHS official Rachel Levine 'a man'

"My tweet was a statement of fact," Rep. Banks said of his account's suspension.

Updated: October 24, 2021 - 4:32pm

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The official Twitter account of Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) was suspended after he called Department of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary for Health Rachel Levine, who is a transgender woman, a man.

Banks' original tweet said, "The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man," referring to Levine becoming the first openly transgender four-star officer in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps.

Banks announced the suspension on his personal Twitter account Saturday: "My tweet was a statement of fact. Big Tech doesn't have to agree with me, but they shouldn't be able to cancel me. If they silence me, they will silence you. We can't allow Big Tech to prevent us from telling the truth. When Republicans take back the House next year, we must restore honesty to our public forums and hold Big Tech accountable."

A Twitter spokesperson gave a statement to The Hill regarding Banks' account suspension, saying: "The account referenced has been temporarily locked for violating our Hateful Conduct Policy. The account owner is required to delete the violative Tweet before regaining access to their account."

According to a screenshot of the tweet and Twitter's explanation of its Hateful Conduct Policy, users "may not promote violence against, threaten, or harass other people on the basis of race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, religious affiliation, age, disability, or serious disease."