Donald Trump has accused Twitter of “banning free speech” in a tweet from the POTUS account, hours after he was banned from the platform.
Earlier on Friday, the social media company permanently suspended the president’s @realDonaldTrump account and wiped all his old tweets.
The Twitter Safety account posted shortly afterwards, saying: “After close review of recent Tweets from the @realDonaldTrump account and the context around them we have permanently suspended the account due to the risk of further incitement of violence.”
It comes after Mr Trump was similarly banned from Facebook and Instagram following riots at the US Capitol on Wednesday.
In response, Mr Trump posted a series of tweets from the @POTUS account accusing the company of going “further and further in banning free speech”.
The rambling tweets were swiftly deleted but not before screengrabs were taken and circulated online.
The first was: “The 75,000,000 great American Patriots who voted for me, AMERICA FIRST, and MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN, will have a GIANT VOICE long into the future. They will not be disrespected or treated unfairly in any way, shape or form!!!”
The second offending tweet was: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th”.
Twitter said the two messages “were highly likely to encourage and inspire people to replicate the criminal acts that took place at the US Capitol”.
The social media giant said its assessment of the tweets found they were being “received by a number of his supporters as further confirmation that the election was not legitimate” and seen as “disavowing” his previous claim that there would be an “orderly transition” on 20 January when President-elect Joe Biden takes over.
Additionally, Twitter said his second tweet on Friday “may also serve as encouragement to those potentially considering violent acts that the inauguration would be a ‘safe’ target”.
Mr Trump has no plans to attend Mr Biden’s inauguration, making him the first president in more than 150 years – and just the fourth in US history – to miss the occasion.
Twitter initially suspended Mr Trump’s account for 12 hours on Wednesday after he posted a video that repeated false claims about election fraud and praised the rioters who stormed the Capitol.
It lead prominent Democrats to push for his removal from office early, under the 25th amendment.
Five people were killed in the violence, including police officer Brian Sicknick, who was seriously hurt “while physically engaging with protesters”.
Meanwhile, Twitter said plans for future armed protests have already begun “proliferating on and off” the platform, including a proposed secondary attack on the Capitol on 17 January.
Earlier, they permanently banned two Trump loyalists – former national security adviser Michael Flynn and attorney Sidney Powell.
It was part of a broader purge of accounts promoting the QAnon conspiracy theory, whose supporters made up a large portion of the rioters.
The company also said Trump attorney Lin Wood was permanently suspended on Tuesday for violating its rules, but provided no additional details.
Separately, Democrats laid plans to impeach Mr Trump a second time, with articles of impeachment expected to be introduced on Monday.
A draft of the resolution charges Mr Trump with abuse of power, saying he “willfully made statements that encouraged – and foreseeably resulted in – imminent lawless action at the Capitol.” – Sky News