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Donald Trump’s Second “Major Announcement” of the Day Was Somehow Much Worse

Donald Trump adjusts a microphone and glares from a podium.

Now that we’re all done (or not) laughing over Trump’s collection of NFT trading cards, let’s turn to a second announcement he made on Thursday: a deeply concerning promise to “shatter the left-wing censorship regime and to reclaim the right to free speech for all Americans.”

In a six-minute video posted to Truth Social and shared with The New York Post, Trump engaged in conspiracy theories about a secret group of shadowy figures stifling conservative posts on social media.

“In recent weeks, bombshell reports have confirmed that a sinister group of deep-state bureaucrats, Silicon Valley tyrants, left-wing activists, and depraved corporate news media have been conspiring to manipulate and silence the American people,” Trump said in the video.

Trump seems to be referring to the “Twitter Files,” the set of data that Elon Musk gave to former New York Times columnist Bari Weiss. The files contained information—much of it already public—about major content moderation decisions at Twitter, including discussions surrounding the permanent suspension of Trump’s account. Twitter’s former head of trust and safety, Yoel Ross, faced attacks and threats of violence after the files were released, including accusations of pedophilia from Musk himself.

Social media platforms have been fighting waves of false claims and misinformation in recent years, including Qanon conspiracy theories and anti-vaccine rhetoric.

It’s vital to understand who and what Trump is talking about when he uses phrases like “free speech” and “the American people.” To Trump, Musk, and other right-wing figures, “free speech” is synonymous with right-wing speech, and “the American people” doesn’t include marginalized people like people of color, queer people, or immigrants.

While Trump’s trading cards reveal what a clown he is, his second announcement is a sharp reminder that he’s only the visible face of a thriving white nationalism movement in the United States.

(featured image: Brandon Bell/Getty Images)

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Julia Glassman (she/her) lives in Los Angeles, where she reads tarot and watches Marvel movies. You can check out more of her writing at linktr.ee/juliaglassman, or find her on Twitter at @juliaglassman.