President Trump said in the Oval Office Thursday that he would seek to shut down Twitter if it continued to not be "honorable" in its fact-checking and if there was a legal way to do so.
Reality check: Trump does not have the unilateral power to shut down social media platforms. Legal experts agree that doing so would be a violation of the First Amendment.
The big picture: The comment came as Trump signed an executive order targeting protections for Big Tech companies — a move catalyzed by the president's anger toward Twitter for issuing its first-ever fact-check on one of his tweets, which included misinformation on mail-in voting.
What he's saying: "If Twitter were not honorable, if you're going to have a guy like [Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity] being your judge and jury, I think just shut it down as far as I'm concerned."
- Trump added that he's unsure how he would shut down Twitter, saying that he would need to speak to a legal team.
- "If it were able to be legally shut down, I would do it. I think I'd be hurting it very badly if we didn't use it anymore."
Trump also told reporters that he would delete his Twitter account "in a heartbeat" if there was not so much "fake news" — referring to critical coverage by journalists. He has often said that Twitter is his preferred platform for communicating directly with the American public.