Diamond and Silk, the social media personalities who have long been outspoken supporters of Donald Trump, appeared before Congress today to testify on Facebook. While not members of the administration themselves, the two women demonstrated solidarity with the Trump team by engaging in that favorite activity of those who surround the president: shameless, outright lying.
Diamond and Silk, real names Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson, testified under oath about Facebook “censorship.” They speculated that they may have been “blocked” by the social media platform because of their Pro-Trump beliefs.
“Subtle and slowly, Facebook used one mechanism at a time to diminish reach by restricting our page so that our 1.2 million followers would not see our content, thus silencing our conservative voices. When we reached out to Facebook for an explanation, they gave us the run around,” they claimed.
Their narrative is, of course, absolute nonsense. Facebook has been changing its algorithm to prevent publishers from spreading fake news in the wake of the Russian disinformation scandal, and most prominent pages have seen their reach and engagement drop, the page for which this writer works included.
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It has nothing to do with political leanings, but Diamond and Silk have disingenuously chosen to paint it as such as part of an increasing trend amongst Republicans to claim victimhood despite the fact that they completely control the federal government. It’s a pathetic, transparent tactic.
The subject of the hearing aside, it was the testimony itself that raised eyebrows. When asked if they had ever received money from the Trump campaign, Diamond adamantly insisted they had not.
The question was repeated and, with more than a little annoyance in her voice, Diamond once again stated that the two of them hadn’t been paid by the Trump campaign. She was then asked about a specific amount: $1,274.94 that appeared on FEC forms filed by the Trump campaign as a consulting payment to the duo. In other words, official records that showed they had indeed been paid. Again, Diamond denied it.
Diamond and Silk repeatedly tell congressional committee that “we have never been paid by the Trump campaign." FEC records show Diamond and Silk were paid $1,274.94 for field consulting work. https://t.co/80ORQiNShQ pic.twitter.com/fUl8VasiVA
— ABC News (@ABC) April 26, 2018
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries confronts Diamond and Silk with the FEC record showing the duo were paid $1,274.94 for field consulting work despite them repeatedly telling a congressional committee that they’ve never been paid by the Trump campaign. (via ABC)pic.twitter.com/HBQVYYu38o
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) April 26, 2018
There are two explanations here. Either Diamond and Silk perjured themselves in front of Congress, meaning they could face jail time, or the Trump campaign filed inaccurate FEC documents, which in turn could demand its own investigation. Regardless of which explanation turns out to be the case, it’s bad news for the Trump administration.