- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Twitter flagged President Trump for an “abusive” tweet Tuesday after the president warned that he would deploy “serious force” against demonstrators if they try to create an autonomous zone in the nation’s capital.

“We’ve placed a public interest notice on this Tweet for violating our policy against abusive behavior, specifically, the presence of a threat of harm against an identifiable group,” Twitter said of the president’s post.

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany criticized Twitter’s decision.

“Twitter labeled it ‘abusive behavior’ for the President of the United States to say that he will enforce the law,” she tweeted. “Twitter says it is ‘abusive’ to prevent rioters from forcibly seizing territory to set up a lawless zone in our capital.

“Recall what happened in Seattle’s lawless CHOP zone where multiple people have been shot and one 19-year-old tragically lost his life! We must have LAW AND ORDER!” she said.

Earlier in the day, the president had responded to vandals who defaced St. John’s Church near the White House, spray-painting “BHAZ” on its white columns. The letters stand for Black House Autonomous Zone.

“There will never be an ‘Autonomous Zone’ in Washington, D.C., as long as I’m your President,” Mr. Trump tweeted. “If they try they will be met with serious force!”

Andrew Clark, an official with the Trump campaign, objected to Twitter labeling the president’s tweet, saying on the platform, “To be clear, this is a tweet from the President acknowledging that the U.S. government will use force to uphold the law.”

Twitter said, “Per our policies, this Tweet will remain on the service given its relevance to ongoing public conversation.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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