Trump is trying to solve a problem that doesn’t exist -- with powers he doesn’t have: NYT reporter
President Donald Trump (screengrab)

President Donald Trump's new executive order on social media companies was ridiculed on MSNBC's "Deadline: White House" on Thursday.


"Donald Trump has moved at remarkable speed -- imagine if he did that with the pandemic -- in his attempt to exact revenge on Twitter for daring to fact-check a pair of his tweets," Nicolle Wallace reported.

"Just this hour he brought reporters into the Oval Office with Attorney General Bill Barr right next to him. Trump said he's about to sign an executive order with new regulations for social media companies, seemingly designed to curtail some of their legal protections," Wallace noted.

For analysis, Wallace interviewed New York Times reporter Nick Confessore.

"Nick, I think Trump should be careful what he wishes for because I don't totally understand why social media platforms have just a -- it's like opening the spigots for Russian disinformation to pour through it. You've reported more extensively about this than just about anyone. Could Trump's moves, one, backfire on Trump, and two, be just the tip of the iceberg of what a responsible regulation of social media could entail?" she asked.

"Well look, if you got rid of Section 230 right now, for example, it's possible to imagine that somebody could sue President Trump for his calamities on Twitter, for lies he tells on Twitter about Joe Scarborough or someone whose wife died, so he should be careful," Confessore replied.

"I will also point out, Section 230 does not have to do with this thing about being a platform or a publisher. Section 230 already encourages platforms to moderate content, that's why it was passed. What's happening with the president's order here, as far as we've seen details, he's trying to use powers he doesn't actually have to solve a problem that doesn't exist," he explained. "It's ridiculous."

"That's the most brilliant thing I've heard in a long time," Wallace said.

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