Sen. Mitch McConnell’s reelection campaign remained locked out of its Twitter account today after posting a tweet that included a video of people making violent threats against the majority leader in front of his Louisville, Kentucky, home.
The tweet, in which the campaign labeled the protesters an “angry left-wing mob,” is no longer visible on the account, @Team—Mitch. But Kevin Golden, McConnell’s campaign manager, said that McConnell’s staff members had not deleted the tweet themselves and were still unable to use the account.
In a statement, a Twitter spokeswoman said the company had temporarily locked the account because it had posted “a tweet that violated our violent threats policy, specifically threats involving physical safety.”
The company’s policy prohibits users from sharing content that includes violent threats made against an individual or a group. That left McConnell’s team in the unusual position of being locked out of its account for posting a video of a threat that had been made against McConnell.
By Thursday afternoon, officials from the Republican National Committee and the National Republican Senatorial Committee said they would forgo buying new ads on Twitter until it unfroze the Team Mitch account. And by late Thursday, McConnell declared to WHAS radio in Louisville that he and his team were “in a major war” with Twitter and had not given up their fight.
“We’re discussing our options and we hope Twitter reconsiders their position,” Golden said.
The Louisville Courier-Journal was first to report the news.
The Twitter lockout punctuates a turbulent week for McConnell’s campaign, which drew criticism after two separate episodes involving social media, and for McConnell himself. The majority leader is recovering from a fractured shoulder and is under pressure from Democrats and some Republicans to bring up gun control legislation in the Senate in the wake of two mass shootings that killed more than 30 people and injured dozens more.
Critics of McConnell’s inaction on gun control pilloried him on Twitter using the hashtag #MassacreMitch.
The video that prompted the Twitter lockout was provided to The New York Times by the McConnell campaign. In it, a protester can be heard using expletives to describe the senator and suggesting that rather than injure his shoulder, McConnell “should have broken” his neck. She also muses that someone or something should be stabbed in the heart.
“Twitter will allow the words ‘Massacre Mitch’ to trend nationally on their platform, but locks our account for posting actual threats against us,” Golden said.