In 2019, Matt Gaetz Defended A Proud Boy Banned By Twitter For Hate Speech
Orlando Weekly reported last year that Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) defended Jacob Engels after Engels was suspended from Twitter for posting anti-Islamic hate speech.
In a tweet sent Tuesday afternoon, Florida's 1st District congressman criticized Twitter for suspending the account belonging to Jacob Engels, publisher of the Central Florida Post, a close assistant of former Trump advisor Roger Stone, an InfoWars contributor, and all but admitted member of the extremist Proud Boys group, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has described as a "hate group," though the group says they're not.
Despite consistently wearing the black-and-yellow collared shirts, attending meetings, and referring to himself as a member in his own articles, Jacobs still claims he's not really a Proud Boy, he's just embedded in the "Western Chauvinist" group as a reporter.
Gaetz, a staunch supporter of President Trump who has bought into the conservative “shadow ban” conspiracy theory, tweeted in defense of Engels:
"It is very dangerous to have @twitter kicking people off the platform because they don’t like their speech. This is a slippery slope. #FreeJacob”.
Engels was suspended in February 2019 for posting misinformation about Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN).
"America’s future thanks to @IlhanMN. Roaming rape gangs… cops do nothing. Massive terrorist attacks. Old guy preaching about Jesus Christ is 'breaching the peace' and swiftly arrested. #LauraLoomer warned us. @JacobAWohl/@Ali/Laura are working to stop this in America!," Engels tweeted.