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Bill Gates: Trump ‘probably should be allowed’ back on social media

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Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates has said that former President Donald Trump at some point should probably be allowed back onto social media platforms, despite his “corrosive” election fraud claims.

“I think at some point he probably will be allowed back on and probably should be allowed back on,” the billionaire philanthropist told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” in an interview aired Thursday morning.

Major social media platforms either temporarily suspended or permanently banned the former president after a mob violently stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, the day Congress was set to certify the states’ electoral votes and thus President Joe Biden‘s 2020 election victory. Trump had used his social media accounts to spread claims that the election was rigged and stolen from him through widespread fraud, claims which the rioters echoed as they stormed the Capitol.

Trump’s “deplatforming” sparked intense outcry from conservatives in particular, arguing that large technology giants were exercising anti-conservative bias and violating the principle of free speech in the process. Even world leaders such as French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed displeasure with the move.

Gates had been asked by “Squawk Box” co-host Andrew Ross Sorkin about if he would allow the former commander-in-chief back on social media if he were on Facebook’s oversight board.

“It’s weird when you’re, you know, saying that the election was stolen without any facts there. And how corrosive that is,” Gates said.

“But I’ll bet they’ll find a way to let him back on,” he continued, noting that Trump’s future posts could be given warning labels—as they had been in the months leading up to, and after, the November 3 general election.

“You know, in a way, his people’s interest in what he says may go down quite a bit,” Gates added. “That’ll be interesting to watch.”

Prior to being banned from Twitter, Trump had enjoyed the benefits given to him under the website’s world leader policy, which exempts world leaders from punishments for behavior on the platform violating its policies.

Despite Trump leaving a possible 2024 presidential run on the table, and with that the possibility of becoming a world leader again, Twitter’s chief financial officer has said Trump’s account will remained banned permanently.

RELATED: Poll: Majority of GOP voters still favor Trump for 2024

On February 10, CFO Ned Segal said in a CNBC interview that the former president “was removed when he was president, and there’d be no difference for anybody who [was] a public official once they’ve been removed from the service.”

“Our policies are designed to make sure that people are not inciting violence,” Segal also said, “and if anybody does that, we would have to remove them from the service and our policies don’t allow people to come back.”

At the time of his ban from the platform, Twitter said that Trump’s tweets posed “the risk of further incitement of violence.”

Moreover, Democrats—and a number of Republicans—have accused Trump of “inciting an insurrection” in part through his claims spread on social media leading up to the riot. Ultimately on Saturday, Trump was acquitted by the U.S. Senate after being impeached by the House of Representatives for that single charge.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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