- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 11, 2018

The Twitter account of the man challenging House Speaker Paul D. Ryan in the Republican primary has been been permanently banned, over repeated violations of the site’s rules, the most recent being a new round of anti-Semitism charges.

Paul Nehlen, a perennial candidate who has made national noise but not come close to defeating Mr. Ryan, had his certified “blue check” account removed Sunday.

Mr. Nehlen had recently published using his Twitter account, @pnehlen, a list of his media critics and called it a Jewish conspiracy.

“Of those 81 people, 74 are Jews, while only 7 are non-Jews,” he wrote, also posting the Twitter accounts’ phone numbers.

Some of the named “Jews” said they weren’t, which opened the account to another violation of Twitter rules — posting false information. Spreading hatred (in this case against Jews) and posting phone numbers also violates Twitter’s terms of use, and Mr. Nehlen’s account became the object of at least one “suspend” campaign at the weekend.

In a statement to Newsweek on Monday, a Twitter spokesperson said the account wasn’t merely suspended, as first reported, but banned.

“While we normally do not comment on individual accounts, I can confirm that we have permanently suspended this account for repeated violations of our terms of service,” the spokesperson said.

The list wasn’t Mr. Nehlen’s first venture into anti-Semitism, having once tweeted “Poop, incest, and pedophilia. Why are those common themes repeated so often with Jews?”

Nor was criticism of Mr. Nehlen’s Twitter account limited to anti-Semitism. He prompted backlash at the weekend by superimposing a picture of a dark-skinned ancient Briton onto actress Meghan Markle, and had Prince Harry’s fiancee “say,” “Honey, does this tie make my face look pale?”

After having boosted him to national prominence to defeat Mr. Ryan, the conservative and anti-establishment Breitbart news site already had washed its hands of Mr. Nehlen. “He’s dead to us,” Breitbart chief Steve Bannon said.

His campaigns hadn’t borne much fruit at the polls — Mr. Ryan won the 2016 primary by 70 percentage points.

• Victor Morton can be reached at vmorton@washingtontimes.com.

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