California Rep. Devin Nunes is currently suing Twitter for allowing its users — specifically “Devin Nunes’ Cow” and “Devin Nunes’ Mom” — to smear him on the social media platform.
But recently unearthed footage from one of the Republican lawmaker’s appearances on C-SPAN reveals that in some circumstances, Nunes is fine with the public lobbing personal attacks at politicians.
The clip below shows Nunes defending protesters who called Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) the n-word as he walked through the Capitol.
Nunes set up his defense of those protesters by accusing Democrats of using “totalitarian tactics,” which he said are bound to make people “act crazy.”
He then continued: "I think people have every right to say what they want. If they wanna smear someone, they can do it."
Nunes conceded that such words are not appropriate, but he defended people’s right to say them. It is unclear why Nunes would not extend this freedom to the realm of social media.
In his lawsuit against Twitter, Nunes is seeking “$250 million in compensatory and punitive damages for “pain, insult, embarrassment, humiliation, emotional distress and mental suffering, and injury to his personal and professional reputations,” Roll Call reported on Tuesday.
Nunes also accused the tech giant of participating in the scheme by “shadow banning” his account, thereby diminishing his voice and amplifying “the voices of his Democratic detractors.”
During an interview with Fox News host Sean Hannity, the California Republican complained that Twitter allowed him to be “attacked, relentlessly, hundreds of times a day by fake accounts.”