Trump’s threat to veto defense bill over social-media protections is heading to a showdown with Congress

President Trump is headed toward a veto showdown with Congress, as the White House doubles down on his promise to scuttle a $740 billion defense bill unless it opens the door for new, unrelated sanctions against Silicon Valley — his second threat to kill the must-pass legislation.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie


© Kevin Dietsch/Pool/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock


With most leading Republicans and Democrats firmly united in their opposition to Trump’s demands, the president is waging an uphill battle that, if nobody blinks, could result in the first veto override of his presidency.

Trump threw the annual, must-pass measure authorizing the military’s operations into disarray late Tuesday with a pair of tweets taking aim at Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields technology companies from legal liability for the content posted by their users. Trump said the law should be “completely terminated,” claiming it is a national security risk. On Wednesday, White House press secretary

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Trump to Congress: Repeal Section 230 or I’ll veto military funding

A man in a suit points from a small desk.
Enlarge / Donald Trump speaks from the White House on Thanksgiving Day.

President Donald Trump has long been an outspoken foe of big technology companies. And in recent months, he has focused his ire on Section 230, a provision of the 1996 Communications Decency Act that shields online platforms from liability for content posted by their users.

In May, Trump called on the Federal Communications Commission to reinterpret the law—though it’s not clear the agency has the power to do that. Since then, he has tweeted about the issue incessantly.

On Tuesday evening, Trump ratcheted up his campaign against Section 230. In a tweet, he called the law “a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity.” He warned that “if the very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), I will be forced to unequivocally VETO

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Trump threat to veto defense bill if Section 230 not revoked by Congress

  • President Donald Trump tweeted late on Tuesday night that he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) unless it included a repeal of Section 230.
  • Section 230 is the part of US law that grants broad protections to Big Tech companies to allow them to moderate their own platforms.
  • Trump has been trying to roll it back since Twitter first applied fact-checks to his tweets in May.
  • The NDAA is an annual defense spending bill worth roughly $740 billion, and Trump has already threatened to veto it if lawmakers go ahead with a plan to rename army bases named after Confederate generals.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

President Trump is trying desperately to get Section 230, the part of US law that protects Big Tech companies, revoked.

The president tweeted late Tuesday night that he would veto the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) unless it included a

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Trump threatens to veto major defense bill unless Congress repeals Section 230, a legal shield for tech giants

President Trump on Tuesday threatened to veto an annual defense bill unless Congress repeals the federal law that spares Facebook, Google and other social-media sites from legal liability over their content-moderation decisions.



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie


© Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images


Trump delivered the ultimatum targeting the digital protections, known as Section 230, in a late-night tweet that marked a dramatic escalation in his attacks against Silicon Valley over unproven allegations that the country’s tech giants exhibit bias against conservatives.

“Section 230, which is a liability shielding gift from the U.S. to ‘Big Tech’ (the only companies in America that have it – corporate welfare!), is a serious threat to our National Security & Election Integrity,” Trump tweeted.

Unless the “very dangerous & unfair Section 230 is not completely terminated as part of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA),” Trump continued, “I will be forced to unequivocally VETO the Bill when sent

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Expect more tech executive grillings in the next Congress

with Tonya Riley

Tech CEOs can expect more demands to appear on Capitol Hill in the next Congress. 

The one sure takeaway from Tuesday’s hearing featuring two of Silicon Valley’s biggest heavyweights is that Washington’s scrutiny of Big Tech isn’t going away any time soon, no matter which party controls the Senate in January.

Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee signaled they want Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey back in the hot seat next year — along with executives from Google and Amazon. (Amazon founder and chief executive Jeff Bezos owns The Washington Post.)

They called for greater regulatory action on Silicon Valley, as they escalated their criticism of tech giants and the myriad ways their power influences American society and politics, as Rachel Lerman and I reported. 

“The bottom line is we want to make these platforms better,” said the committee’s chairman, Sen. Lindsey

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