Twitter has reinstated Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's reelection campaign account, afterfor posting a video showing threats against the longtime Kentucky Republican. Twitter also restored the tweet including the video that showed the protests.
"Several Twitter users, including U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's campaign account, were temporarily locked out of their accounts for Tweeting a video that violated our abusive behavior policy. The video contained a violent threat directed at Leader McConnell, a clear violation of the Twitter Rules," Twitter said in a statement.
"After multiple appeals from affected users and Leader McConnell's team confirming their intent to highlight the threats for public discussion, we have reviewed this case more closely," the statement said, adding that Twitter would restore the video and show it with a warning message. "Going forward, the video will be visible on the service with a sensitive media interstitial and only in cases where the Tweet content does not otherwise violate the Twitter Rules."
McConnell's campaign spokesperson, Kevin Golden, called out the social platform for its decision in a statement to CBS News on Friday. The Republican Party, the Trump campaign and other GOP organizations are halting their Twitter spending in response.
The post featured a video, according to The Courier Journal, showing protesters outside McConnell's home in Louisville who were shouting profanities directed him. The social media company hid the tweet by "Team Mitch" and linked it to its general guidelines and policies page with a message saying it was "no longer available." According to Twitter, the account would be required to remove the post because it violated its rules before it could be unlocked again.
Golden confirmed Twitter's suspension of the account and said despite the McConnell campaign's appeal, the company stood by its decision. "This morning, Twitter locked our account for posting the video of real-world, violent threats made against Mitch McConnell."
His reelection campaign also addressed a photo of several high schoolers in Team Mitch shirts appearing to grope and kiss a cardboard cutout of progressive lawmaker Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Golden said they condemned the acts, but took aim at critics such as her.
"We've watched for years as the far-left and the media look for every possible way to demonize, stereotype, and publicly castigate every young person who dares to get involved with Republican politics," he said.
The Associated Press reports National Republican Congressional Committee Executive Director Parker Hamilton Poling said her organization would freeze Twitter spending "until they correct their inexcusable targeting of Team Mitch."