Trump unveils plan to protect free speech upon prospective return to White House
"If we don't have free speech then we just don't have a free country. It's as simple as that."
Former President Donald Trump on Thursday announced his plan to protect free speech should he reclaim the presidency in 2024, which included a call to create a "digital bill of rights" and to curtail federal involvement in content moderation.
Trump announced the plan on Truth Social, his nascent social media platform that presents itself as a pro-free speech platform, with minimal content moderation.
"If we don't have free speech then we just don't have a free country. It's as simple as that. If this most fundamental right is allowed to perish then the rest of our rights and liberties will topple just like dominoes, one by one," Trump began.
He then referenced a series of reports from journalists to whom Twitter CEO Elon Musk granted access to internal communications, revealing that the company actively suppressed disfavored viewpoints and shadow banned prominent accounts.
Trump vowed to issue an executive order to bar federal agencies from working with companies or individuals to "censor, limit, categorize, or impede the lawful speech of American citizens."
He further said he would ban the use of federal funds to label lawful speech as "misinformation" or "disinformation."
The former commander-in-chief also said he would pursue investigations and possible prosecutions of federal employees involved in censorship efforts.
He then called on House Republicans to send preservation letters to the Biden administration, the Biden campaign, and Big Tech firms, calling on them to maintain possible evidence of censorship.
The former president also took aim at universities and non-profits, suggesting they should be made ineligible to receive federal funding if found to engage in an array of censorship practices.
"The fight for free speech is a matter of victory or death for America," he concluded. "By restoring free speech we will begin to reclaim our democracy and save our nation."
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