Twitter responded on Wednesday to a Project Veritas video in which one of its engineers claims that the tech giant is “more than happy” to help investigators probing connections between President Trump and Russia.
Project Veritas, which was founded by James O’Keefe and is known for posting edited undercover videos that are often doctored, recently published a new video with Clay Haynes, a senior network security engineer at Twitter. During the video, Haynes discusses the company’s access to user information and expresses his willingness to assist with a Justice Department investigation into Trump’s Russia ties.
In one of the meetings, Haynes says that Twitter is “more than happy to help the Department of Justice in their little investigation” by providing them with “every single tweet that [Trump] has posted, even the ones he’s deleted. Any direct messages, any mentions.”
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However, a Twitter spokesperson told the International Business Times that Haynes does not speak for the company and clarified its policy around accessing users’ direct messages.
“Twitter only responds to valid legal requests, and does not share any user information with law enforcement without such a request,” the spokesperson said.
Their statement to IBT went on to say: “We deplore the deceptive and underhanded tactics by which this footage was obtained and selectively edited to fit a pre-determined narrative,” Twitter’s spokesperson said. “Twitter is committed to enforcing our rules without bias and empowering every voice on our platform, in accordance with the Twitter Rules.”
Fox News has requested comment from Twitter on this matter.
Although O’Keefe is going for maximum shock value, Twitter’s policies already make it clear that it can access pretty much everything a user posts on the platform.
In addition, Twitter’s terms and conditions explain that the company can “access, read, preserve and disclose any information” in a number of scenarios including satisfying legal and government requests. That includes providing direct messages to law enforcement to comply with an investigation, as Twitter’s Haynes suggests in the video.
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Though O’Keefe also seems to try to bait Haynes by suggesting he looked through the direct messages of various Trump family members, Haynes says, “There’s a reason why we have a subpoena process”—basically confirming that Twitter would only access direct messages if requested to do so by law enforcement after obtaining a subpoena.
Beyond that, Project Veritas touts the supposed “political bias” of Twitter employees by sharing footage of Haynes’ personal opinion of Trump.
“I don’t like him and he’s a terrible human being,” Haynes says.