Evelyn Hockstein/The Washington Post via Getty Images
WASHINGTON ― A paid spokesperson for former US President Donald Trump is posting his same election lies on Twitter that incited the January 6 assault on the US Capitol and got Trump permanently banned from the platform two days later.
“The Voter Fraud in the 2020 Presidential Election was monumental, and the facts are coming out daily!” Liz Harrington wrote on Monday, quoting from a false statement that had just been released by Trump through his Save America committee.
On Sunday, Harrington quoted from a statement that called the November presidential contest, which Trump lost by 7 million votes, a “Fake Election.”
And on Friday, she quoted from a Trump statement repeating his lie that “AP and other media outlets are doing major disinformation to try and discredit the massive number of voter irregularities and fraud found in both Arizona and Georgia.”
Twitter has not responded to multiple queries from HuffPost about why Harrington’s actions are permitted when similar activity by former Trump aides in the immediate aftermath of his January 8 suspension was not.
An account run by Trump digital fundraiser Gary Coby, for example, was suspended on January 8 after Coby announced on the platform that he would serve as Trump’s mouthpiece. An account run by Trump’s 2020 presidential campaign was shut down for the same reason, as was another account, @ThisIsPOTUS45, that Trump apparently began using when his own was no longer available. Twitter even deleted posts that Trump made on the official presidential Twitter account, @POTUS, in which he complained about the punishment.
Four months later, Twitter again banned a number of accounts ― @DJTDesk, @DJTrumpDesk, @DeskofDJT and @DeskOfTrump1 ― that were reposting the same statements Trump was sending out via email and posting on his short-lived webpage.
“As stated in our ban evasion policy, we’ll take enforcement action on accounts whose apparent intent is to replace or promote content affiliated with a suspended account,” a Twitter spokesperson said in a May 6 statement.
Harrington is a former right-wing journalist turned Republican National Committee spokesperson. Trump recently hired her to replace Jason Miller, a longtime aide in Trump’s orbit who left to run a social media platform. Harrington did not respond to HuffPost’s queries about her role at the Save America committee.
Trump sued Twitter, Facebook and Google in federal court earlier this month for banning him from their platforms, claiming that they are unconstitutionally censoring him. It is unclear whether the suit has any bearing on Twitter’s decision not to suspend Harrington.
Trump spent weeks attacking the legitimacy of the November 3 election after he lost, starting his lies in the pre-dawn hours of Nov. 4 with claims that he had really won in a “landslide” and that his victory was being “stolen” from him. Those falsehoods continued through a long string of failed lawsuits challenging the poll results in a handful of states.
After the Electoral College finally voted on December 14, making Democrat Joe Biden’s win official, Trump began urging his followers to come to Washington, DC, on January 6 to intimidate Vice President Mike Pence and members of Congress into overturning the election results and installing Trump as president for another term anyway. The mob he incited attempted to do just that as it stormed the Capitol. His supporters even chanted “Hang Mike Pence” after Pence refused to comply with Trump’s demands.
Two police officers who were at the Capitol on January 6 died by suicide soon afterward. One of the rioters was fatally shot, and three others in the crowd died during the melee.
Twitter suspended Trump the following day and, citing the risk that his continued posting would incite further violence, banned him permanently the day after that.