Indiana congressman deletes post, gets Twitter access back

Nov 5, 2021, 1:25 PM | Updated: 2:46 pm

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — An Indiana congressman regained control of his office Twitter account on Friday after he deleted a post about a transgender Biden administration official that the social media company found violated its rules.

Republican Rep. Jim Banks said he met Twitter’s demand that he delete his Oct. 19 post regarding Dr. Rachel Levine becoming the first openly transgender four-star officer in the U.S. uniformed services. Levine is also the nation’s assistant secretary of health.

Banks, an outspoken Donald Trump supporter and leader of the influential Republican Study Committee, had responded to the U.S. surgeon general congratulating Levine on her promotion in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps by writing: “The title of first female four-star officer gets taken by a man.”

The post was removed and his account put on hold Oct. 23 with a reference to Twitter rules that include a ban on “targeted misgendering” of transgender people.

Twitter spokesman Trenton Kennedy said Banks went through steps to acknowledge the tweet violated the rules and was then able to post a video under the heading “I’m back.”

“That was the indication then that he had deleted the violative tweet and then regained access to the account,” Kennedy said.

Banks, whose district covers Fort Wayne and surrounding northeastern Indiana, has frequently drawn attention with right-wing social media comments. He said he stood by his post about Levine.

“Twitter provides a crucial platform for elected officials to communicate with voters, which is part of what makes Twitter’s biased and arbitrary censorship so dangerous,” Banks said. Fighting the left’s censorship will remain a priority of mine for as long as I’m in Congress.”

Kennedy declined to comment on Banks’ criticism of Twitter.

House Republican leader Kevin McCarthy picked Banks in July as the top GOP member for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi rejected the appointment of Banks, citing a need to protect the “integrity” of the investigation that has since been boycotted by House Republican leadership.

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Indiana congressman deletes post, gets Twitter access back