Former President Donald Trump announced he is now a believer in the “deep state” in a video published on his Truth Social page on Wednesday afternoon. In the video, Trump calls for Congress to investigate the FBI and its alleged role in censoring lawful speech.
Trump, who is again running for president, referenced the Twitter Files, a set of internal Twitter documents made public in December, and recent reporting such as an article from the New York Post that said former FBI officials worked as top-ranking Twitter executives.
Trump accused the FBI of “systematically colluding” with Twitter and likely other social media companies to advance a “censorship regime.”
In the Truth Social video, Trump proposed a “seven-year cooling-off period” for any employee of an agency such as the FBI, preventing those employees from taking a job at a major social media platform like Twitter until the cooling-off period expires. Trump said the proposal aimed to “end the revolving door” between the alleged deep state and tech tyrants.
The “deep state” is defined as a group of people, usually influential government or military officials, who are believed to be involved in the secret manipulation of government policy.
Trump said the FBI censored conservative voices on topics like COVID-19, public health issues and the election by working with Twitter to ban users from the social media platform. Trump also accused the FBI of simultaneously trying to prevent negative information about President Joe Biden, such as information related to Hunter Biden‘s laptop, from being published on social media while pushing out attacks on Trump.
“There is a deep state indeed,” Trump said in the video. “I wasn’t a believer, but everybody’s a believer right now.”
Although Trump admits that he didn’t believe in a deep state until recently, Trump allies like Steve Bannon have frequently used the term, depicting an overbearing federal bureaucratic regime working against the Trump administration.
Trump took the FBI’s actions personally, viewing the “massive censorship surveillance and propaganda campaign” as an attack against the American people and himself. He accused the FBI of stealing the 2020 election by censoring conservative voices, specifically in the realm of COVID-19, public health and election-related topics.
Many people were banned from Twitter during that time, mostly conservative voices such as Trump, Bannon and Kanye West, but most have been reinstated since tech tycoon Elon Musk took ownership of the company last year.
Newsweek reached out to Trump’s campaign for comment.