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Macron with Trump in 2019. Photo: Ludovic Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

French President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday lambasted social media networks for their decisions to “suddenly cut the mic” as soon as they were sure Donald Trump was leaving power, particularly as they'd effectively “egged President Trump” on during his presidency.

Why it matters: Speaking at an Atlantic Council forum, Macron said the decisions to ban Trump by platforms like Twitter and Facebook may have seemed sensible in the short term, but did not provide a “democratic answer.” Other world leaders like Germany's Angela Merkel have previously raised similar concerns.

What he’s saying: Macron added that big tech had “killed all the platforms where it was possible for [Trump] and his supporters to express themselves."

“I don’t want to live in a democracy where the key decisions… is decided by a private player, a private social network. I want it to be decided by a law voted by your representative, or by regulation, governance, democratically discussed and approved by democratic leaders.”
— Macron

Between the lines: Apple and Google remove Parler from their app stores, and Amazon cancelled hosting services for the platform, which was popular on the far-right. Pro-Trump channels or content have also been removed by Reddit, TikTok and others.

The big picture: Macron blamed social media platforms for fueling political violence in both France and the U.S., and noted that they were used to “promote the same demonstrations” that ultimately led to Trump’s ban.

  • "The new violence in our democracies, largely linked to these social networks” is now “our new way of life," Macron said.

Go deeper

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
24 mins ago - Health

Democrats are still looking for a plan on drug prices

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

Democrats have no workable plan to tackle the cost of prescription drugs, even with full control of Washington and after campaigning on the issue for years.

The picture: Voters still care about the cost of drugs, but Democrats don't have a feasible legislative strategy yet — or an agreed-upon policy to fit into a legislative strategy.

The limits of "Buy American"

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Joe Biden and Donald Trump agree on at least one thing: Buy American. The slogan was a centerpiece of Biden's recent address to Congress, backed up with one of his first executive orders.

Why it matters: Federal law has placed a heavy thumb on the scales when it comes to hundreds of billions of dollars of U.S. government spending. But it's far from clear that it will have its desired effect.

FEC drops Trump hush-money investigation

Former President Trump. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The Federal Election Commission announced Thursday that it won't proceed with a case examining whether former President Trump violated election law with 2016 a hush-money payment made through his then-lawyer Michael Cohen.

The state of play: The election commission, split between three Republicans and three Democratic-aligned commissioners, dropped the proceeding in a closed-door meeting in February, per the New York Times.

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