Prominent Republican groups on Thursday said they are boycotting Twitter advertisement purchases until Twitter unlocks Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign page, the New York Post reported.
Among the boycotting groups are President Donald Trump's reelection campaign, the Republican National Committee, the House and Senate GOP campaign arms, and the Senate Leadership Fund, the paper said, adding that the groups cited anti-conservative bias.
What's the background?
On Wednesday, Twitter suspended the McConnell campaign account over a video showing leftists protesting in front of the senator's home in Louisville, Kentucky, on Sunday — and calling for his death.
"Just stab the motherf***er in the heart, please," one protester was heard saying in the clip.
The first 40 seconds of the following video compilation shows the clip in question:
Protestors Shout Death Threats Outside McConnell's Home youtu.be
Twitter said it temporarily locked the account because the video violated its violent threats policy, "specifically threats involving physical safety," the paper added, noting that the social media giant didn't immediately respond to the Post's request for comment.
McConnell's team said the account was still locked as of Thursday, the paper added.
Many conservatives have hailed the Team Mitch account for its innovative and clever approach in support of McConnell's political agenda.
"Twitter will allow the words of 'Massacre Mitch' to trend nationally on their platform but locks our account for posting actual threats against us," McConnell campaign manager Kevin Golden told the Courier-Journal. "We appealed, and Twitter stood by their decision, saying our account will remain locked until we delete the video."
What are GOP leaders saying?
Richard Walters, chief of staff at the Republican National Committee, tweeted that the Trump campaign and RNC are standing with the Senate majority leader, the Post said: "Any future ad $ either organization was planning to spend with [Twitter] has been halted until they address this disgusting bias."
The Senate and House Republican campaign arms — as well as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) — also are halting Twitter ad buys, the paper said.
"I have directed the [National Republican Congressional Committee] to immediately halt all spending with [Twitter] until they correct their inexcusable targeting of @Team_Mitch," Parker Hamilton Poling, the NRCC's executive director, tweeted. "We will stand firmly with our friends against anti-conservative bias."
Jesse Hunt, National Republican Senate Committee communications director, said "Twitter's hostile actions toward Leader McConnell's campaign are outrageous, and we will not tolerate it. The NRSC will suspend all spending with Twitter until further notice. We will not spend our resources on a platform that silences conservatives."
What could be the financial fallout?
Trump's reelection campaign was looking to spend between $300,000 and $500,000 in Twitter ads this month, the Post said.