Rep. Bryan Steil came out strongly in support of President Donald Trump over the weekend, decrying the Democrats’ push to impeach the president and Twitter’s ban of Trump’s tweets.
Steil did not publicly join the members of Congress who objected to the presidential vote count during their joint session Wednesday. That was the day Trump supporters stormed into the Capitol, forcing representatives and senators to flee the violence, halting the constitutional process.
But Friday, Steil called on President-elect Joe Biden to condemn the effort to impeach Trump.
In a short statement, the Janesville Republican said: “I oppose (House Speaker Nancy) Pelosi’s efforts to impeach President Trump. Nancy Pelosi and (Senate minority leader) Chuck Schumer have already tried and failed to remove President Trump through impeachment. Enough already!
“From the riots in Kenosha, Portland, Chicago, Minneapolis and dozens of other cities to what happened in D.C. this week, what we need right now is leaders to tone down their actions, not enflame (sic) the situation,” the statement continues.
Steil did not refer to Biden as president-elect.
Steil’s office did not respond to Gazette requests for comment.
Democratic leaders and some Republicans accuse Trump of inciting Wednesday’s riot.
On Saturday, Steil lashed out at Twitter for permanently banning Trump from using the social medium. Trump has used Twitter extensively to communicate directly with the public during his presidency.
“Twitter suspends thousands of American citizens & the president of the United States, but allows Ayatollah, who regularly threatens Israel’s existence, to use its platform,” Steil tweeted. “Iran this week resumed 20% uranium enrichment, a clear warning sign that it’s building its nuclear capability.”
Steil was referring to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
Later that Saturday, Steil tweeted: “When asked to remove Ayatollah’s tweets, Twitter said: ‘World leaders use Twitter to engage in discourse with each other, as well as their constituents.’ Are you kidding me?! Iran is the world’s largest state sponsor of terrorism & kills its own people!”
Twitter’s statement on the Trump ban said the president’s tweets could be interpreted as encouraging violence and rejection of the presidential election result.
Twitter suspended the Khamenei account Friday after a tweet in which the leader accused Western governments of trying to “contaminate” other countries by trying to sell them the coronavirus vaccine, according to news reports.
Twitter said the suspension will continue until Khamenei deletes the tweet.
Twitter stated its policies are “built on a principle that the people have a right to hold power to account in the open. However, we made it clear going back years that these accounts are not above our rules entirely and cannot use Twitter to incite violence, among other things.”
The Israeli government and Iranian dissidents have called on Twitter to ban Khamenei’s Twitter accounts for his oppression of his own people or for his calls for the destruction of Israel.
Khamenei’s English account on May 22 stated: “The Zionist regime is a deadly, cancerous growth and a detriment to the region. It will undoubtedly be uprooted and destroyed.”
Iranian dissident Masih Alinejad tweeted Friday, “You’ve suspended the account of @realDonaldTrump, but you’ve not suspended the account of @khamenei_ir, who used the @Twitter platform to issue death threats. He’s imprisoned various twitter activists while banning Iranians from freely accessing Twitter. Why?”