During a March 13 conference call about the bailout for the California-based Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), Kelly asked representatives from the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Deposit and Insurance Corporation and the Federal Reserve if they had a way to censor information on social media. This, the senator claimed, was to prevent depositors from rushing to the banks and withdrawing their money.
At least three GOP members present at the call attested to the former astronaut-turned-senator's remarks. Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) said there were roughly 200 people on the call – including lawmakers from both chambers of Congress and their staff members. He also mentioned that Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) led the call.
"On our conference call … a [Democratic] senator asked the three agencies if there was a program underway on social media to censor information that would lead to a bank run," the Kentucky congressman said. (Related: EXCLUSIVE: Senator Mark Kelly called for social media censorship to prevent bank runs.)
"I believe he couched it in a concern that foreign actors would be doing this, but he didn’t suggest the censorship should be limited to foreigners or to things that were untrue. The people from the three agencies couldn't answer him and just sort of took a pass on the question."
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) also confirmed Kelly's remarks in a tweet, saying that a member of Congress "asked if [the three agencies] were reaching out to Facebook and Twitter to monitor misinformation and 'bad actors.'" A representative from her office confirmed that the member of Congress she was referring to was a senator from the Democratic Party.
Rep. Dan Bishop (R-NC) confirmed the accounts of his GOP colleagues, outright naming Kelly as the senator who brought up the issue of censorship.
"I have confirmed with [House Speaker Kevin] McCarthy (R-CA) that it was Sen. Kelly who asked whether the call hosts … were interacting with [social media] platforms and on the lookout for foreign influence that might promote bank runs."
A spokesperson for the Arizona senator's office denied the allegations against him in a statement to the Daily Caller.
"The unsupported claim … is false," they noted. "On the briefing, Sen. Kelly asked about foreign adversaries potentially trying to take advantage of this situation by spreading misinformation."
During a March 13 appearance on "Jesse Watters Primetime" on Fox News, Massie elaborated on the comments by the former astronaut-turned-lawmaker. He recounted the conference call to program host Jesse Watters, this time outright naming Kelly.
"Kelly … asked if we had a good program to censor this stuff [on] social media, to censor information so there wouldn't be a run on the banks," the Kentucky congressman said. "The problem is, he didn't say he wanted to censor false information or foreign information. He kind of left it open-ended, and I mean that's chilling to me."
SVB was seized by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation on March 10, following a bank run by depositors that depleted it of funds. The bank run was fueled by its disclosure of a $1.8 billion loss on asset sales due to high-interest rates, alongside a drop in its stock price.
Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats have called for censorship in different aspects – from supposed "disinformation" on Twitter and other social networks, to Fox News host Tucker Carlson for airing previously unseen footage of the Jan. 6 false flag riot.
"That's their go-to now for the Democrats: Let's censor our way to the solution," Massie told Watters.
Watch Owen Shroyer expound on the Democrats' plan to totally censor all their political opponents on "War Room" below.
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