Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon was the subject of swift and decisive action from the social media giant Twitter on Thursday in relation to a controversial video that was tweeted on his War Room account earlier in the day. According to USA Today, the former executive chairman of Breitbart News was permanently banned from the service for the clip, during which he shared his belief that National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Anthony Fauci and FBI director Christoper Wray should be executed.
“I’d put the heads on pikes. Right. I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats. You either get with the program or you are gone,” Bannon said in the video, which was clipped from a recent live stream of his War Room: Pandemic podcast.
The comments came during a discussion with co-host Jack Maxey, during which the 66-year-old opined that President Donald Trump should fire disloyal administration officials. Wray was harshly criticized by the president in September for testifying to Congress that Russia was actively working to denigrate the candidacy of Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the presidential election.
More recently, Trump hinted he would fire Fauci — a key member of the White House’s coronavirus task force — in response to the chanting of the crowd at a Florida campaign rally.
In its statement to the press, Twitter indicated that it had suspended Bannon’s account because the tweet in question glorified violent actions. The company’s March 2019 policy on the matter explicitly states that users “may not threaten violence against an individual or a group of people.”
“We also prohibit the glorification of violence. Glorifying violent acts could inspire others to take part in similar acts.”
Bannon’s comments were also posted on his Facebook and YouTube accounts. Although both services eventually removed the video on grounds similar to those of Twitter, it had been viewable for several hours before any action was taken.
Bannon’s remarks may have had consequences beyond losing his social media platform. As reported by Law & Crime and a number of other outlets, his lawyers in an ongoing criminal case asked a federal judge on Friday to postpone a hearing scheduled for the beginning of next week as they intend to withdraw from the case. No official reason was given for the request.
The former administration official was charged in August by federal prosecutors along in an alleged scheme to launder money using funds donated for a private border wall.