Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty Images and Courtesy/Sen. Steve Daines
- GOP Sen. Steve Daines’ Twitter account was suspended Tuesday for violating the site’s rules.
- His profile photo, showing him posing with a dead antelope, violated rules prohibiting graphic imagery.
- Daines, whose account was reinstated hours later, told reporters that Elon Musk called him.
Republican Sen. Steve Daines of Montana heaped praise on Twitter CEO Elon Musk on Tuesday after the senator’s Twitter account was restored.
The social media company suspended Daines’ Twitter account earlier on Tuesday over an apparent violation of the platform’s rules against adult content or graphic imagery in profile photos — the senator’s profile photo features him posing with a photo of a dead antelope that he and his wife Cindy hunted.
“I am grateful Elon Musk reached out to me to resolve this issue and am glad that he recognizes that free speech is a bedrock of our country, and acted quickly to reinstate my Twitter account after being made aware of its suspension,” the senator said in a statement, later telling reporters with Politico and the Associated Press that Musk had personally called him over the matter.
—Steve Daines (@SteveDaines) February 7, 2023
Daines also said that hunting represented the “Montana way of life.”
“The initial ban over the profile photo of my wife and me after a successful Montana antelope hunt was disappointing given the fact that it is no different than photos Montanans share on social media every day,” he said. “The rest of the country benefits from the acceptance of diverse thoughts and values, including Montana values.”
First elected to the Senate in 2014, Daines recently joined his party’s leadership to become chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, the party’s Senate campaign arm.
“This is insane,” NRSC Spokesman Philip Letsou said in a statement earlier on Tuesday, calling on Twitter to reverse the suspension.
Musk tweeted, apparently in reference to the Daines incident, that Twitter “will be broadly accepting of different values.”
—Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 7, 2023