Twitter hearing uses old Chrissy Teigen tweet as example of suppression attempt from Trump

The House Oversight Committee used a 2019 diss against Trump as proof of requests for content removal

By Kelly McClure

Nights & Weekends Editor

Published February 8, 2023 6:37PM (EST)

Donald Trump, John Legend, and Chrissy Teigen (Photo illustration by Salon/NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images/ Dimitrios Kambouris)
Donald Trump, John Legend, and Chrissy Teigen (Photo illustration by Salon/NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images/ Dimitrios Kambouris)

During Wednesday's House Oversight Committee hearing, a 2019 tweet written by model and TV personality Chrissy Teigen was brought up as evidence that Trump's White House made attempts to press the platform for content removal. 

While the primary focus of the hearing was to ascertain Twitter's involvement in suppressing a 2020 New York Post story on the ongoing Hunter Biden laptop ordeal, light shone into other corners when it came to government involvement with the platform.

When questioned by the committee on the tweet, in which Teigen responded to Trump referring to her as the "filthy-mouthed wife" of musician husband John Legend by calling him a "pu**y a** b***h," Anika Navaroli, a former executive on Twitter's safety policy branch, admitted that the platform did receive requests from Trump's team for its removal.

"In that particular instance, I do remember hearing that we had received a request from the White House to make sure that we evaluated this tweet and that they wanted it to come down because it was a derogatory statement directed toward the president," Navaroli said.

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After video from the hearing began to circulate on Wednesday, Teigen reacted to the old beef making headlines again by returning to the scene of the "crime" with a clip and the message "I . . . oh my God."

Veering back to the subject of their decision to suppress the article on Biden's laptop, the former Twitter executives who spoke at the hearing admitted that no government party had a hand in them doing so.

"It isn't obvious what the right response is to a suspected but not confirmed cyberattack by another government on a presidential election," Twitter's former Head of Trust and Safety Yoel Roth said in a quote obtained from CNN. "I believe Twitter erred in this case because we wanted to avoid repeating the mistakes of 2016."

By Kelly McClure

Kelly McClure is Salon's Nights and Weekends Editor covering daily news, politics and culture. Her work has been featured in Vulture, The A.V. Club, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan, Nylon, Vice, and elsewhere. She is the author of Something is Always Happening Somewhere.

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