On Monday, Rudy Giuliani — a top ally of ex-President Donald Trump who was closely involved with the former president’s effort to overturn the election results — was suspended from YouTube for two weeks over dual violations of company policies. These rule violations included — unsurprisingly — spreading lies about the United States electoral process and, perhaps more surprisingly, promotion of nicotine, which isn’t allowed. YouTube’s suspension system allows for three strikes against accounts, and this suspension constitutes Giuliani’s second strike. The third so-called strike comes with a lifetime ban.
A YouTube spokesperson told The Wrap as follows:
‘We removed content from the Rudy W. Giuliani channel for violating our sale of regulated goods policy, which prohibits content facilitating the use of nicotine, and our presidential election integrity policy. Additionally, in accordance with our long standing strikes system, we issued a strike against the Rudy W. Giuliani channel, which temporarily restricts uploading or live-streaming.’
Giuliani spent basically the entirety of the period between the 2020 presidential election and Joe Biden’s inauguration pushing the idea that the election had been rigged for the Democratic nominee, but he never came up with any legitimate evidence supporting his claims, no matter his feverish attempts. He never even explained the basics of how the supposed nationwide election-rigging scheme operated. Who was in charge? Where did the thousands and thousands of people go whose cooperation would have been required?
Trump, for his part, has refused to abandon the false idea that the 2020 election was rigged. During remarks this past weekend at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), he repeatedly reiterated his false belief that he was the rightful winner of the 2020 presidential race — and the crowd ate it right up, signifying a dangerous level of acceptance of conspiracy theories within the institutionalized Republican Party.
These conspiracy theories drove the recent rioting at the U.S. Capitol, where Trump supporters hoped to forcibly stop the Congressional certification of Biden’s victory, but this very real connection to real-world violence hasn’t sparked any kind of groundswell of contrition among Republican leaders. On stage at CPAC, Goya CEO Robert Unanue even proclaimed his belief that Trump is presently “the real, the legitimate, and the still actual president of the United States,” which is just… wow.