The United States regularly chastises other nations for censoring or even shutting down parts of their internet when doing so might make the ruling regime look better, but that's exactly what Trump threatened to do this morning.
Trump spent the early part of today screeching on Twitter because the social media platform added a fact-checking label to one of his tweets claiming that mail-in voting will lead to fraud.
In response, Trump threatened to shut down social media companies.
"Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016," Mr. Trump wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning.
"We can't let a more sophisticated version of that...happen again. Just like we can't let large scale Mail-In Ballots take root in our Country. It would be a free for all on cheating, forgery and the theft of Ballots. Whoever cheated the most would win. Likewise, Social Media. Clean up your act, NOW!!!!" Mr. Trump continued.
This is what Trump tweeted around 7 a.m. this morning
Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen. We saw what they attempted to do, and failed, in 2016. We can’t let a more sophisticated version of that....
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 27, 2020
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted this about two hours later.
The U.S. stands against, and will not tolerate, government-imposed Internet shutdowns and other forms of censorship during or after this pandemic. We join @FO_Coalition’s call to promote and protect #InternetFreedom at all times.
— Secretary Pompeo (@SecPompeo) May 27, 2020
Trump probably knows he can't just arbitrarily shut down social media companies, and he would probably die if he had to go more than a few hours without tweeting in any case, but I don't think his is necessarily about the fact-checking labels being added to tweets from public officials.
Trump think he's going to win the election, but if he doesn't he would like you to know it wasn't his fault that he lost. It was the media! It was the Social Media Platforms! It was the mail-in fraud! Trump is going to deploy increasingly unhinged and insane reasons why his poll numbers are cratering and that's not going to end even if he loses.
I think we should all be prepared to see Trump claim the results of the election are invalid if he doesn't win. He'll spend the entire rest of his life claiming he was cheated.
Of course, the hypocrisy of the United States under Trump is just par for the course now. From weapons programs to internet censorship, the message of the Trump regime is that America is only "exceptional" in that the rules we hold everyone else to don't apply to us.