Donald Trump was reportedly left “ballistic” after Twitter permanently suspended him as the US president’s allies accused the social media company of Orwellian censorship.
Locked out of his favourite mode of mass communication and facing mounting calls for his removal from office, Mr Trump was isolated and silent in the White House yesterday.
The online crackdown also saw the Trump campaign’s Twitter account suspended and the YouTube channel for a podcast from Steve Bannon, Mr Trump’s ex-chief strategist, disabled.
Meanwhile, concerns are growing that the January 20 inauguration when Joe Biden is sworn in as president could be disrupted after Trump supporters called online for a “Million Militia March”.
Democrats next week are set to start the process of impeaching Mr Trump for encouraging the mob which stormed the US Capitol, with likely success in the House of Representatives.
On Saturday night Congress said impeachment could begin on Monday after House Democrats reached 180 cosponsors for the move.
25th Amendment breakout box
A Senate trial on whether to remove him could begin after Mr Biden’s inauguration, when the Democrats will control the chambre. Although still unlikely, if convicted Mr Trump could be barred from running to be president again.
Debate was heated over Twitter’s actions with Mr Trump “ballistic”, according to a senior administration official quoted anonymously in Politico, and suggesting he may start his own social media site. Hillary Clinton, the Democrat defeated by Mr Trump in the 2016 presidential election, simply posted a tick in response.
Mark Warner, a Democratic senator, called it an “overdue step”. But some prominent Trump supporters were scathing. Jason Miller, a longtime Trump adviser, called it “disgusting”. Donald Trump Jr, the president’s son, referenced author George Orwell’s dystopian book, saying: “We are living Orwell’s 1984.
Free-speech no longer exists in America.” Nikki Haley, who served as Mr Trump’s UN ambassador, tweeted: “Silencing people, not to mention the President of the US, is what happens in China not our country. Unbelievable."