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ABC News is under fire after calling for the “cleansing” of Trump supporters following the chaos at the U.S. Capitol this week.
ABC News Political Director Rick Klein used the term in a tweet promoting a piece written with MaryAlice Parks on Thursday. The tweet was eventually deleted after criticism overusing the word “cleansing,” and the article itself was updated to read “cleaning up” instead.
“Even aside from impeachment and 25th Amendment talk, Trump will be an ex-president in 13 days,” Klein and Parks wrote. “The fact is that getting rid of Trump is the easy part. Cleansing the movement he commands, or getting rid of what he represents to so many Americans, is going to be something else.”
A version of the text was also shared on Twitter by Klein on Thursday. It was soon deleted, however, after he was called out for using the term.
Political Director for @ABC News based in Washington DC appears to have deleted his tweet about the 75 million Americans who voted for Trump that talked about the challenge of “cleansing the movement.” pic.twitter.com/HS1Rwrn94S
— Omri Ceren (@omriceren) January 7, 2021
The article was updated and the word “cleansing” was removed, though no editor’s note was included to update readers.
“Cleaning up the movement he commands, or getting rid of what he represents to so many Americans, is going to be something else,” the piece now reads.
I want people to remember that @rickklein made this comment today about people who have a different political view. He is the Political Director of ABC News. The word he used “Cleansing” is beyond disturbing considering his position. To state 75 million Americans must be cleansed pic.twitter.com/TClStsCX2X
— Diane B (@dmb1031) January 8, 2021
“You may not like it, but it’s perfectly within Klein’s right to say everything he said,” the Media Research Center’s Nick Kangadis wrote.
“He can celebrate that Trump is leaving office all he wants. But it is the height of hypocrisy for those in the media to condemn others for violent acts that are dwarfed in comparison to the consistent violence of the far-left — one act doesn’t justify the other — and then go out and call for something like a ‘cleansing’ of people and think there’s nothing wrong with a statement like that,” he added.
But the “cleansing” narrative is nothing new as leftists took to Twitter after the November election to make a veritable hit list of Trump’s supporters.
Is anyone archiving these Trump sycophants for when they try to downplay or deny their complicity in the future? I foresee decent probability of many deleted Tweets, writings, photos in the future
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 6, 2020
You can’t heal or reform the GOP who are now an extremist party. They have to be broken, burned down and rebuilt. When Biden is in power treat them like the active threats to democracy they are. If those who committed crimes aren’t punished then they will be more emboldened.
— Wajahat “Wears a Mask Because of a Pandemic” Ali (@WajahatAli) November 10, 2020
You better believe it. We just launched the Trump Accountability Project to make sure anyone who took a paycheck to help Trump undermine America is held responsible for what they did. https://t.co/clRu6WSfvL https://t.co/J78dgyHJpG
— Hari Sevugan (@HariSevugan) November 6, 2020
And with the alarming purge of President Trump, his supporters and conservative voices by Big Tech, the apparent slip of the tongue by Klein should come as no surprise.
Twitter users who were not yet banned from the platform called out the ABC News political director.
— 2021 Curmudgeon Resolution – Andrew Young (@NucMM1retired) January 9, 2021
Last person I heard that used the term “cleansing” referring a population was the epitome of evil.
— Carole White (@ccwhite1970) January 9, 2021
The establishment media didn’t bat an eye and he has not suffered any consequences.
He did quietly delete the tweet though.
— Open the USA (@MrSimpleSense) January 9, 2021
For some reason, the Political Director of ABC News’ flagrant and cavalier call for state action against those who merely think differently than him has disappeared from Twitter. He’s not talking about the people who stormed the Capitol, he’s talking about all Trump supporters.
— Supertanker (@Supertanker) January 9, 2021
Dangerous rhetoric from a so called reporter.
— Leanne (@leanneproelders) January 8, 2021
I called said 70 million people take this as a threat.
HQ NY (212) 456-2700 Rick Klein
ABC an American multinational commercial broadcast television network that is a flagship property of Walt Disney Television, a division of Disney General Entertainment & Walt Disney Co.
— Star Reading (@StarReading2) January 8, 2021
Where’s the apology Rick? Or do you really mean what you said?
— Rick Pitman (@RickPitman) January 9, 2021
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