U.S. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is fighting with mobile phone operators over the right to send unsolicited text messages to Americans, according tomedia reports. Mr. Trump’s lawyers are said to be actively negotiating with cell phone operators after third-party screening tools blocked Mr. Trump’s text messages in early July.
The campaign claims that blocking text messages amounts to suppressing political speech, and operators fear that allowing them will result in fines for violating anti-spam rules.
The 2020 U.S. election is understood to have brought a wave of text messages from across the political spectrum, especially as the outbreak limits face-to-face communication. Many users did not choose to use the text messages, and it is unclear whether they violate federal laws. At the same time, the Trump administration has imposed severe fines for spam and illegal calls. Although the Trump campaign claims that it is not illegal to send text messages automatically, it has caused unease among operators, according to the report.
BI described the “standoff” between Mr. Trump and the carrier, with Mr. Trump’s adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner, apparently calling the CEOs of Verizon, AT?amp;T and T-Mobile to complain about the impasse.
Political operators often have more leeway in trying to make phone calls and text messages. The American Association of Political Advisers argues that the automatic phone ban violates the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the U.S. Supreme Court recently ruled against the association. But Mr. Trump’s campaign has been particularly criticized for sending a large number of text messages.