Former President Donald Trump on Wednesday told Newsmax that lawsuits filed against Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube parent company Google and its CEO were done because the "crimes they've committed have been atrocious."
"They've taken away free speech and led to a lot of problems in this country," Trump told Rob Schmitt in an exclusive interview following the announcement. "It really leads to the mainstream media not doing their job because Big Tech is guiding them and guiding them all the way."
The interview with Trump can be seen in full Wednesday night on Newsmax's "Rob Schmitt Tonight" starting at 10 p.m. ET.
Trump said "millions of people" are asking him to sue the tech giants over censorship and violations of First Amendment rights.
"They just can't believe nobody's done it before, so let's see how it works out," Trump said. "I think it will be very successful."
The lawsuits were filed Wednesday by Trump and other class-action plaintiffs against the social media giants.
The former president also rejected the argument the companies can govern their content, because the government gives them "total protection" through Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which says providers or users of an interactive computer service cannot be treated as the publisher of information provided by another Internet content provider.
"They might be a private company, but they're given something – they're given something that nobody else has ever gotten," Trump added to Schmitt. "They have almost total protection under Section 230, no company in America has that other than them. And that takes them away from the whole private concept."
"But even if they were, the cases are great," Trump added.
The lawsuits seek monetary and punitive damages, as well as reinstating Trump and others to the social media sites, from where they were moved for posts ranging from disagreements on the 2020 election, the coronavirus pandemic, and the Jan. 6 incidents at the Capitol.
Trump told Schmitt he thinks there will be a "very dramatic" outcome from the lawsuits and the social media companies and their CEOs will have to pay "massive damages, and a lot of money will go into things that will change how such companies operate."
"We have to have freedom of speech in this country," Trump said. "There is no freedom of speech. It's very, very little, it's very sparse."
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