By Tom Ozimek
The White House pressured Facebook to take action against Fox News host Tucker Carlson for supposedly saying COVID-19 vaccines “don’t work,” according to a document released by Louisiana’s Republican Attorney General Jeff Landry, who characterized the move as a request to censor the journalist.
Landry shared the document—an email exchange between White House Director of Digital Strategy Rob Flaherty and an unidentified Facebook employee—in a Jan. 7 post on Twitter, with the comment: “Rob Flaherty tells facebook to censor” Tucker Carlson.
“Since we’ve been on the phone—the top post about vaccines today is [T]ucker Carlson saying they don’t work. Yesterday it was Tomi Lehren [sic] saying she won’t take one,” Flaherty reportedly said in the message to the Facebook staffer, whose name and email address have been redacted.
“This is exactly why I want to know what ‘Reduction’ actually looks like—if ‘reduction’ means ‘pumping our most vaccine hesitant audience with Tucker Carlson saying it doesn’t work’ then … I’m not sure it’s reduction!” Flaherty continued, per the document shared by Landry.
Signaling action regarding the request, the unidentified Facebook employee then reportedly wrote: “Running this down now.”
The Epoch Times has reached out with a request for comment to Facebook parent Meta, Fox News Channel, and the White House, but no reply was received by publication.
‘Hard Evidence’ of Government Collusion With Big Tech
Landry, together with Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, sued the Biden administration in May 2022 for allegedly pressuring and colluding with social media giants to suppress free speech.
Schmitt on Jan. 5 was sworn in as a U.S. senator and has been replaced in his role as Missouri attorney general by Andrew Bailey.
Bailey took to Twitter on Jan. 7 to say that when he took the oath of office, he swore he would protect the Constitution and explained “why.”
“We now have hard evidence that President Biden’s Administration colluded with social media companies to censor differing viewpoints and silence ‘misinformation’ that was later deemed true,” Bailey wrote in a series of posts.
Bailey shared a screenshot of an email from White House COVID-19 Digital Director Clarke E. Humphrey to an unidentified Twitter employee with the subject line “Flagging Hank Aaron misinfo” and requesting the Twitter staff to “get moving on the process for having it removed ASAP.”
In her request, Humphrey provided a link to a Twitter post by Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a known critic of the Biden administration’s narrative on COVID-19 vaccines.
The offending tweet links to an article on the website of the Children’s Health Defense, an activist group chaired by Kennedy Jr. that left-leaning Wikipedia labels as “one of the main sources of misinformation on vaccines.”
The article, from Jan. 22, 2021, says Aaron died 18 days after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine of an “undisclosed cause” and cites Kennedy Jr. as saying that his “tragic death is part of a wave of suspicious deaths among elderly closely following administration of COVID vaccines.”
About a week later, the Fulton County Medical Examiner released Aaron’s cause of death as “natural causes” and that he didn’t have any COVID-19 symptoms, with his medical history listing prostate issues and hypertension.
Besides requesting action on Kennedy Jr.’s tweet, Humphrey also added a request to “keep an eye out for tweets that fall in this same genre,” per the screenshot shared by Bailey.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Twitter with a request for comment.
‘The Truth No Longer Matters to the White House’
Bailey also shared screenshots of several other messages that he said show collusion between Big Tech and the government to suppress free speech, including another message from Flaherty to an unidentified Facebook employee in which the White House official demands “assurances” that the social media company is taking actions “to ensure you’re not making our country’s vaccine hesitancy problem worse.”
“The truth no longer matters to the White House,” Bailey captioned the post.
“These emails confirm what we’ve known all along,” Bailey wrote. “The Biden Admin. has been colluding with social media companies to stifle opposing voices.”
“I will continue to push back against this blatant attack on the 1st Amendment with every tool at my disposal,” he added.
With Schmitt gone as attorney general, Bailey has taken his place as a plaintiff in the lawsuit against President Joe Biden, then-White House press secretary Jen Psaki, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and other administration officials.
The lawsuit claims that Biden and other government officials worked with Big Tech companies like Meta, Twitter, and YouTube to censor conversation around matters relating to everything from COVID-19 and election integrity to the Hunter Biden laptop story, doing so under the guise of battling “misinformation.”
The two Republican-led states accuse Biden and other officials named in the lawsuit of “falsely” attacking the Hunter Biden laptop story as “disinformation.”
The story, which was first published by the New York Post in October 2020, detailed the contents of a laptop linked to Hunter Biden, President Joe Biden’s son. The laptop was abandoned in a Delaware computer repair shop and included compromising pictures and emails regarding allegedly corrupt foreign business deals.
Twitter labeled the story as “potentially harmful” and locked the New York Post’s main Twitter account while also blocking Twitter users from publishing the link to the story.
GOP to Investigate ‘Weaponization of the Federal Government’
It comes as House Republicans have pledged to investigate allegations of collusion between federal agencies and private companies, and to do so, they’re looking to establish a subcommittee on the “weaponization” of the federal government.
Republicans have put forward a House rules package, which includes a proposal to create a House Judiciary select subcommittee on the “Weaponization of the Federal Government.”
The proposal for the subcommittee comes after Republicans recently signaled that they want a top-to-bottom investigation of the FBI after the “Twitter Files” disclosed that the agency pressured Twitter to censor Americans’ free speech.
Incoming House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) has suggested that the FBI needs to be investigated in the same way it was in the 1970s, when the Church Committee investigated abuses by the CIA, FBI, Internal Revenue Service, and the National Security Agency.
The committee, led by then-Sen. Frank Church (D-Idaho), revealed the now-infamous CIA MKULTRA program, which involved the drugging and torture of American citizens in experimentation on mind control.
“We’ve been looking at a Church-style committee to look at this,” Jordan told Just the News last week.