A Republican candidate seeking a House seat in the Florida Legislature had his Twitter account yanked this week after a post about violence against federal agents.
Luis Miguel, who’s running in Florida’s House District 20, said on Twitter that under his plan, federal agents could be shot on sight in the state. He told the website Florida Politics that Twitter had notified him that his account had been permanently suspended, which he later confirmed to NBC News on Friday.
A Twitter spokesperson said the account is permanently suspended for violating the company’s hateful conduct policy.
Miguel confirmed to NBC News that his tweet on Thursday said: “Under my plan, all Floridians will have permission to shoot FBI, IRS, ATF and all other feds on sight! Let freedom ring!”
The post comes amid increased threats to the FBI after agents executed a search warrant at former President Donald Trump’s estate in Florida. Last week, an armed man attacked an FBI field office in Cincinnati and was fatally shot by law enforcement.
On Friday, two top congressional Democrats on the House Oversight Committee sent letters to social media companies about “a flood of violent threats on social media” that pose a danger to law enforcement.
“We urge you to take immediate action to address any threats of violence against law enforcement that appear on your company’s platforms,” wrote committee chair Carolyn Maloney of New York and Rep. Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts, who leads the subcommittee on national security.
The letters — sent to Meta, Twitter, TikTok, Truth Social, Rumble, Gettr, Telegram and Gab — also requested information about how social media companies are responding to the threats.
In speaking to NBC News, Miguel insisted he was not endorsing violence.
“I am in no way advocating any kind of vigilante, extra-judicial, illegal or other form of violence against federal officers,” he said.
Miguel argued that his tweet was referring to planned legislation that would require federal agencies to have permission from Florida to operate in the state, and that people could protect themselves against threats to their lives or property.
He said he found out about the Twitter suspension Friday morning when he checked his account, and that he has filed an appeal with the social media company.
Earlier Friday, Miguel defended the tweet in an interview with Florida Politics, saying what he wrote was justified because the IRS has been “weaponized by dissident forces” — an apparent reference to misleading characterizations by some Republicans that the tax agency is assembling an armed force of 80,000 agents to target average Americans.
Miguel also said that Instagram deleted a similar post Friday. By Friday night it appeared as though the account was removed.
A representative of Meta, the parent company of Instagram and Facebook, said Friday that both his Instagram and Facebook accounts had been removed. The spokesperson did not detail why.
Miguel is on the ballot in Tuesday’s primary along with state Rep. Bobby Payne, another Republican. They are the only two candidates, according to the Florida Department of State.