Facebook suspended the official account of a Virginia state senator and gubernatorial candidate Friday, days after the self-described “Trump in heels” praised rioters who stormed the U.S. Capitol as “patriots” while also suggesting that left-wing “Antifa or BLM agents of destruction” were really to blame.
Sen. Amanda F. Chase (R-Chesterfield), who spoke to the crowd of President Trump’s supporters in Washington on Wednesday but left before they crashed through Capitol security, cannot post or comment for seven days, or post live video for 60 days on her official Senate page, according to a written notice she shared with The Washington Post. She announced Facebook’s actions on her personal Facebook page, which was not affected.
“Make no mistake, the liberal left who controls social media is systematically targeting vocal supporters of President Trump in an all-out, collaborative effort to silence our voices,” she said in an interview. “Facebook has weaponized its community standards.”
The restrictions on Chase follow a crackdown on Trump by social media companies, who say his posts helped incite the riot. Twitter on Friday night announced it was permanently suspending Trump’s account “due to the risk of further incitement of violence,” while Facebook announced Thursday it was banning Trump indefinitely.
Facebook has flagged several of Chase’s recent posts with the tag: “False information. Checked by independent fact-checkers.” That includes one post that claimed, “Facial recognition firm claims Antifa infiltrated Trump Supporters.”
Even as Chase claimed the left was responsible for the riot, she praised the “patriots” who stormed the Capitol.
“These were not rioters and looters; these were Patriots who love their country and do not want to see our great republic turn into a socialist country. I was there with the people; I know. Don’t believe the fake media narrative,” Chase had written.
The state Senate’s Democratic Caucus on Friday called on Chase — who last month said Trump should hang on to power by declaring martial law — to resign, accusing her of “empowering a failed coup d’etat.”
Chase brushed off their criticism, saying Virginia Democrats had “committed treason” by loosening restrictions on voting last year by eliminating photo ID requirements, among other things.
The Senate Republican Caucus, which Chase quit in November 2019, declined to comment.
A suburbanite who got interested in politics as a home-schooling mom and worked for GOP establishment figure Eric Cantor before the tea party movement toppled him in 2014, Chase has been a controversial figure even within her own party. The rift became public in 2019 after she cursed out a Virginia Capitol Police officer over a parking space.
While fellow Virginia Republicans have rarely crossed Trump, Chase has gone further than most with inflammatory rhetoric. In mid-December, as her lone rival for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, Del. Kirk Cox (R-Colonial Heights), acknowledged President-elect Joe Biden’s win in the electoral college, Chase urged Trump to declare “martial law” to prevent his removal from office.