How delicious would it be if Twitter was the first to put Trump in jail?
That's what Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris suggested should happen in an interview wit Anderson Cooper on Monday. While extolling the virtues of the systems of checks and balances, and explaining how Congress' actions (re: investigations and impeachment) are exactly what the founders had in mind as a way to limit power-hungry autocrats like Trump, Cooper asked her about her confidence in Congress' ability to keep the whistleblower safe. Trump is fully on board and on the record as doing all he can to find out their identity.
That was when Senator Harris brought the power of Twitter into this.
SEN. HARRIS: You know, I have to believe that -- and I do believe -- that the United States Congress, the leaders of the United States Congress, will do everything that is necessary to support and protect the whistle-blower. The president's tweets and his behaviors about this are just further evidence of the fact that he uses his power in a way that is designed to beat people down instead of lift people up. Frankly, when you look at what he's been tweeting today directed at the whistle-blower, directed at so many people, you know, I, frankly, think that based on this and all we've seen him do before, including attacking members of Congress, that he, frankly, should be -- his twitter account should be suspended. I think there's plenty of evidence to suggest that he is irresponsible with his words in a way that could result in harm to other people. And so the privilege of using those words in that way should probably be taken from him.
Cooper asked if that didn't play into the narrative that the "Silicon Valley Elites" were limiting free speech, and Sen. Harris answered with the most firm-but-fair answer a grown-up gives a child who complains about being punished. Twitter is a privilege, not a right. Break the rules, harm someone, subject them to harassment and danger — especially intentionally — and "Oooooooh, no!" and "Awwww...." — your privilege gets suspended.
SEN. HARRIS: I'm sure that that will be said, but we have to also agree that when the President of the United States speaks, her words are very powerful and should be used in a way that is not about belittling, much less harming, anyone. And this president has, I think, never fully appreciated that responsibility. And so what we see continuously, including in the last 24 hours, is a use of his words, Donald Trump using his words in a way that could subject someone to harm. And if he's not going to exercise self-restraint, then, perhaps, there should be other mechanisms in place to make sure that his words do not, in fact, harm anyone. And that's my point. What we want to make sure is that his words do not actually result in harm to anyone.
Elections have consequences. Even for the elected.
p.s. "Her words?" We see you, Sen. Harris.