Substack writer and journalist Matt Taibbi responded to Rep. Ted Lieu, D-Calif., after he accused the Twitter Files author of ‘gaslighting’ Americans by tweeting emails detailing the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s communication with the social media giant.
‘.@elonmusk @mtaibbi @ShellenbergerMD are gaslighting you with their misleading ‘Twitter Files’ posts. Here’s the truth: 1. FBI’s Foreign Influence Task Force does threat indicator sharing with companies. That’s a good thing. 2. Companies decide what to do with that information,’ Lieu said on Wednesday.
‘Congressman, why is a ‘Foreign Influence’ task force sending Excel spreadsheets full of joke tweets from low-follower accounts in Maryland, Kentucky, and Ohio? Why does the FITF spend so much time reviewing domestic speech?’ Taibbi said on Saturday.
Taibbi’s response comes after he released a new version of the Twitter Files, outlining Twitter’s previous communication with ‘other government agencies.’
‘Other government agencies’ can stand for the Central Intellegence Agency, according to Taibbi.
‘The files show the FBI acting as doorman to a vast program of social media surveillance and censorship, encompassing agencies across the federal government – from the State Department to the Pentagon to the CIA,’ Taibbi said in a tweet.
Previously, Taibbi tweeted multiple internal files between Twitter workers and FBI employees as part of the sixth installment of the Twitter Files.
‘Hello Twitter contacts, FBI San Francisco is notifying you of the below accounts which may potentially constitute violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service for any action or inaction deemed appropriate within Twitter policy,’ one email FBI employee wrote in an email on Nov. 10.
In the email, an FBI employee listed several Twitter accounts which might violate the social media company’s terms of service.
A Twitter employee responded that three of the four accounts were suspended, and asked someone else at the company to review the fourth account flagged by the FBI for ‘possible civic misinformation.’
Taibbi said that one of the accounts tweeted on Nov. 8, ‘I want to remind republicans to vote tomorrow, Wednesday November 9.’
One of the emails shared by Taibbi shows the ‘Public Sector Engagement Squad’ at FBI’s San Francisco office notifying Twitter employees of ‘account activities’ that ‘potentially constitute violations of Twitter’s Terms of Service.’
Another tweet flagged by the FBI states, ‘Americans, Vote today. Democrats you vote Wednesday 9th.’
FBI officials told Fox News that the agency didn’t ask Twitter employees to ‘take action’ based on the information provided, and said the information was provided so that Twitter employees can make a determination on whether to take action.
‘We are providing it so that they can take whatever action they deem appropriate under their terms of service to protect their platform and protect their customers, but we never direct or ask them to take action,’ the FBI officials said.
In a statement shared with Fox News, an FBI spokesperson said, ‘The correspondence between the FBI and Twitter show nothing more than examples of our traditional, longstanding and ongoing federal government and private sector engagements, which involve numerous companies over multiple sectors and industries. As evidenced in the correspondence, the FBI provides critical information to the private sector in an effort to allow them to protect themselves and their customers.’
‘The men and women of the FBI work every day to protect the American public. It is unfortunate that conspiracy theorists and others are feeding the American public misinformation with the sole purpose of attempting to discredit the agency,’ the spokesperson added.
Fox News’ Jake Gibson contributed to this report.