WASHINGTON (ChurchMilitant.com) - President Donald Trump drew criticism from the Left for having a summit about social media giants' censorship of conservatives.
During a speech at Thursday's event, President Trump remarked, "We have terrible bias. We have censorship like no one has any understanding, nobody can believe."
The president went on to say, "They're playing with a lot of minds and they're playing unfairly."
Left-leaning media has pushed back hard against the White House event. For example, liberal magazine Mother Jones ran the headline "The Profound, Unforgiving Stupidity of Donald Trump's Social Media Summit."
A CNN piece accused the president of making six false claims during his speech. An article from Vox called the event a "circus" and opined, "This is what happens when the right-wing fringe is emboldened and empowered."
In attendance at President Trump's social media summit were numerous figures recognizable to conservatives, such as GOP Senator Josh Hawley (Miss.), Lila Rose of pro-life organization Live Action, James O'Keefe of undercover investigation group Project Veritas and Charlie Kirk of conservative youth organization Turning Point USA.
Trump yielded the podium briefly to Hawley, who told the audience, "The establishment media, the fake media, they say, 'Oh, there's no censorship in social media. That's all made up. That's all fake.' You and I know that that's not true."
The Missouri senator continued, "You and I know the truth is that the social media giants would love to shut us down. They would love to shut us up."
"They would love to shut him up," Hawley added while gesturing to the president.
Rose likewise delivered a brief speech, saying:
We have been, for four years, banned from doing any advertising on Twitter. And they told us that in order to reinstate our accounts we'd have to stop calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood and stop sharing our pro-life content. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood and other abortion groups continue to advertise.
Next, she noted, "Last month we were permanently suspended from Pinterest. And they accused us of spreading conspiracy theories and misinformation with our pro-life content, with no evidence. And then news media groups picked up the narrative and spread it around."
She claimed that Live Action's videos are some of the most-viewed "abortion-related content on YouTube," but YouTube has "buried" these videos in the search results.
Rose closed by thanking President Trump "for holding this very important summit."
One thing that caught headlines about the summit was a heated confrontation between Playboy correspondent Brian Karem and Sebastian Gorka, formerly the deputy assistant to the president.
After the summit, various well-known conservatives were brought to sit front and center in the Rose Garden for a presser. Someone off-camera — apparently conservative Jim Hanson — poked fun at Karem for having to stand on the fringes with other reporters, telling him, "Don't be sad! Don't be sad!"
In response, Karem taunted conservatives in attendance with a jab about them being "eager for demonic possession."
People laughed at the remark. Then Gorka spoke up, asking Karem rhetorically, "And you're a journalist, right?"
Video from @Uncle_Jimbo shows @BrianKarem taunting Trump's guests at the White House, saying that they were a group "eager for demonic possession" and then encouraging @SebGorka to "go outside and have a long conversation," leading Gorka to come over and confront him. pic.twitter.com/nD9S3PHsTr— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) July 12, 2019
"Come over here and talk to me, brother," Karem retorted. "We can go outside and have a long conversation."
Gorka saw this as a euphemism for a physical confrontation and exclaimed, "You are threatening me now in the White House — in the Rose Garden!"
He walked up to Karem to talk to him face-to-face, saying loudly, "You're a punk! You're not a journalist, you're a punk!"
As Gorka walked away, Karem called out to him, "Go home! Go home! Hey Gorka! Get a job!"
Next, Hanson commented to Karem, "Hey, just for the record, he'd kick your punk a**."
Many reports on the confrontation seemed to place the blame on Gorka. For instance, a headline from Business Insider stated: "Former Trump aide Sebastian Gorka screamed in a journalist's face in the Rose Garden as supporters cheered."
In June 2017, Karem went on a rant against then-White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders during a presser, accusing her of being "inflammatory" and biased against reporters.
In a coincidence that some found ironic, Twitter stopped functioning for users shortly before Trump's speech at Thursday's event.