Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) on Wednesday issued a stark rebuke of tech giant Meta’s decision to restore the Facebook and Instagram accounts of former President Donald Trump, two years after he was banned from the platforms for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection.
Schiff accused Meta of putting profits over the public interest with this decision, which he called “inexplicable” and “tragic.”
“It represents, in my view, a total caving in and copping out,” he told MSNBC’s “The ReidOut.” “The only motive I can see is a profit motive here.”
Schiff said Trump has continued to violate Facebook’s policies in posts on his own Truth Social platform, suggesting that the idea he would act differently on Facebook is wishful thinking.
“He’s continuing to give aid and comfort to those who committed acts of insurrection, he’s continuing to spread the big lie,” Schiff told MSNBC’s Joy Reid, in reference to Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.
Meta banned Trump’s account in the immediate aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, citing the threat to the peaceful transfer of power between the two presidents.
While the company had originally said it would suspend the account “indefinitely,” it then revised that decision, announcing it would review the ban in two years from Jan. 7, 2021, after its independent Oversight Board criticized the open-ended nature of the suspension.
Trump’s campaign had also reportedly written to Meta, requesting a meeting to discuss his account reinstatement, with Trump later telling Fox News Digital: “they need us more than we need them.”
Nick Clegg, Meta’s president of global affairs, on Wednesday said the former president will now face “heightened penalties for repeat offenses.”
“In the event that Mr. Trump posts further violating content, the content will be removed and he will be suspended for between one month and two years, depending on the severity of the violation,” Clegg said.
Twitter, which had also removed Trump’s account following the Jan. 6 riot, has already restored the former president’s access after Elon Musk’s takeover of the company.
Trump has not tweeted so far, and has yet to post on Facebook or Instagram.
He still chose to weigh in on Meta’s announcement through Truth Social.
“Such a thing should never again happen to a sitting President, or anybody else who is not deserving of retribution!” he said.
Schiff was a member of the House select committee investigating Jan. 6, which unanimously voted to refer four criminal charges against Trump to the Justice Department last month.