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Mike Lee demands apology from Sen. Dianne Feinstein for implying Trump tweets inspire violence

'Not one act of violence has been linked to President Trump in connection with events surrounding this election, and I think she needs to recant her statement and apologize'

Bill Clark-Pool/Getty Images

Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on Wednesday called on his colleague Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to recant a statement implying President Donald Trump's tweets incite violence and apologize.

Feinstein's remarks were made Tuesday during the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing with the CEOs of Facebook and Twitter. During her time to speak, Feinstein raised concerns about Trump's claims that he won the election, asking if Twitter's warning label on Trump's tweets "do enough to prevent the tweet's harms." She also referred to the Nov. 5 arrest of two armed men by Philadelphia police near the Pennsylvania Convention Center, where ballots were being counted.

"I'm really struck by it, that people armed with assault weapons as a product of a tweet could rally outside an election office," Feinstein said. "And I think it's really a serious issue that needs to be considered and there need to be, once you signal that and people respond to it, it has to be in some way abated or some way pointed out or restructured on the internet itself."

At the hearing, Lee responded to Feinstein, pointing out that "the only violence I'm aware of has occurred in connection with Antifa, Antifa's response to pro-Trump peaceful rally attenders."

Appearing on Fox News' "Fox & Friends" Wednesday, Lee called on Feinstein to recant her remarks.

"You had Washington, D.C., full to overflowing with peaceful Trump protesters, people protesting or signaling their support for President Trump and showing gratitude for them. Not one act of violence was attributed to them," Lee said. "Meanwhile, you had people shooting industrial strength fireworks into places where they were eating. You had people approaching and beating up and saying vile things and putting people in physical danger, including elderly people, including women and children. All of this was done by Trump-haters, by Antifa people who couldn't handle the fact that there were people peacefully showing their support for President Trump."

"So I don't know what my colleague Sen. Feinstein is talking about, but I thought that was an inappropriate comment," he continued. "Not one act of violence has been linked to President Trump in connection with events surrounding this election and I think she needs to recant her statement and apologize."

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey faced questions from lawmakers Tuesday on censorship of social media posts challenging the results of the 2020 presidential election and suppression of conservatives and Trump supporters leading up to the election. Republicans generally demanded answers on whether social media companies were publishers or platforms and how they should be regulated while Democrats raised concerns about the spread of misinformation on social media and wanted to know what Facebook and Twitter were doing to stop President Trump from tweeting statements they say are inaccurate or false.

After the hearing concluded, Lee told Fox News that Congress is headed for "a major overhaul" of the legal protections social media companies enjoy under Section 230 of the Telecommunications Decency Act.

"No matter what, they're now headed for a major overhaul of Section 230 of the Telecommunications Decency Act. It is going to subject them perhaps to some liability, there could be other changes that take them outside of the 230 protection if they don't stop providing misinformation, if they don't stop lying to their own customers," Lee said.

Lee added that Facebook and Twitter could be "subject to aggressive action by Federal Trade Commission" under current law "because they've engaged in an unfair and deceptive trade practice."

"Yesterday they made very clear that they've lied to their own customers, they've lied to the American people, they've coordinated with other people on the left in order to punish the right and make sure that the left wins. This isn't fair, especially when they speak in terms that make them sound like they're some sort of state-sponsored media. They're speaking with an air of officialdom in this and that's not right, the American people aren't going to stand for it."

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