President Trump hosted a social media-focused summit at the White House on Thursday afternoon, where he acknowledged conservatives in attendance for pushing past perceived online biases and delivering their messages to the American people.
“You communicate directly with our citizens without going through the fake news filter,” he said. “You are bypassing the corrupt establishment and the corrupt media.”
He estimated that between himself and the influential voices in the room – including “Fox Nation” hosts Diamond and Silk – they collectively had more than a half a billion Twitter followers.
Trump added that conservatives were getting the word out “in a different way,” and that free speech will always be protected.
In a Twitter post fired off before the summit on Thursday, Trump criticized the “tremendous dishonesty, bias, discrimination and suppression practiced by certain companies.”
He also noted that the “Fake News Media” is not as powerful as social media companies, who, he said, will go out of business in the coming years due to lack of credibility and approval from the public. Despite his prevalent use of Twitter, Trump surmised he would have probably become president even without using it.
Who was not be in attendance? Representatives from the nation’s largest social media companies, like Twitter and Facebook.
Twitter and Facebook had no comment on the summit when contacted by FOX Business.
The White House had not released any further information ahead of the event.
Trump has been an outspoken critic against perceived liberal-leaning biases at some of the country’s biggest technology companies – including Google, Facebook and Twitter. Last month, he said during an interview with FOX Business that the U.S. should be suing Google and Facebook. He also said that Twitter was making it very hard for him to get his message out because the company was allegedly making it difficult for new people to follow him.
On Thursday, Trump said it now takes him 10 times as long to pick up 100,000 new followers.
Republicans have also said that conservative search content has been suppressed by Google and Facebook.
Executives from big tech firms – including Google, Facebook and Apple – are set to testify before a House committee next week. However, the focus is expected to be on competition within the sector, amid rising antitrust concerns regarding how much power these companies have – and whether it allows them to unfairly crowd out competition.
Fox News’ John Roberts contributed to this report.