Former Turing Pharmaceuticals CEO Martin Shkreli, who was recently banned from Twitter for harassing a female journalist, claimed on Wednesday that the social media network had targeted him for “being a Republican.”
Earlier this month, Twitter confirmed that it had temporarily suspended Shkreli in connection with a campaign of targeted harassment against freelance reporter Lauren Duca.
Shkreli and his fans reportedly began trolling Duca after her confrontational interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson went viral.
I would rather eat my own organs pic.twitter.com/IgeCRZqk8w
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 5, 2017
After Shkreli photoshopped himself into photos of Duca with her husband, the reporter contacted Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Several hours later, the former pharmaceuticals CEO was suspended from the social media platform.
— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) January 8, 2017
On Wednesday, Shkreli downplayed the suspension during an interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo.
“Twitter is actually pretty obsolete,” he opined. “And I was banned, I think, for being a Republican. The journalist who got me banned — I made like a teenage photo locker room montage of her, like a 12 year old would hang in his locker of her beautiful face. And this was harassment apparently.”
“And again, that’s the kind of world that I think the left wants us to live in,” Shkreli opined. “And a healthy dose of Donald Trump sort of counters that quite a bit.”
In a statement last week, Duca said that “Martin Shkreli is engaged in targeted harassment, and absolutely deserves to have his account suspended.”
“It’s unfortunate that the only reason people are paying attention is because he’s relatively high-profile,” she explained. “Trolling seems to be an automatic occupational hazard for female writers who receive any level of professional attention. That’s something Twitter needs to work harder to fix, but obviously the problem runs far deeper.”
Watch the video below from Fox Business, broadcast Jan. 18, 2017.