Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), who also serves as the Deputy chair of the Democratic National Committee, compared President Donald Trump to King George III on Thursday by claiming that Trump’s Twitter usage is reminiscent of the Revolutionary War adversary.
When asked by NPR’s Rachel Martin about Trump’s ubiquitous presence on the social media platform, Ellison suggested that the president is abusing the communication channel.
“I see it in general as a good thing to foster communication from the government, but I think it can be used in a very bad way because what he’s doing through his Twitter account and in other ways is circumventing the whole system to intimidate people, to pack courts, to intimidate the press, all so that he can just run everything himself,” he accused.
Ellison, who was the first Muslim to be elected to Congress and was the progressive favorite to become chair of the DNC in its February election, then went on to draw parallels between Trump and the British monarch against whom the United States battled for freedom.
“We fought a war of independence against somebody, King George, who was trying to do that,” he said. “This is really why I’m actually kind of concerned about his use of social media, not the fact that he uses it. The way that he uses [Twitter], I think, is damaging to representative democracy.”
Trump’s Twitter usage has been a recurring source of controversy throughout his presidency. Earlier this week, Trump announced a surprise ban on transgender people serving in the military via a series of three tweets.
And earlier this month, the Knight First Amendment institute at New York’s Columbia University filed a lawsuit against Trump for blocking users on Twitter, arguing that “[t]his practice is unconstitutional.” The group seeks to strip the president of the ability to block users and to officially codify the act as unconstitutional.