Controversy /

Twitter Reinstates Montana Senator Steve Daines Following Outrage Over Hunting Photo Suspension

'My wife is a great shot. What can I say?' said Daines

Twitter suspended Montana Senator Steve Daines after he posted a profile photo of an antelope his wife killed while hunting.

Twitter labeled the images, which included Daines and his wife Cindy, a display of “graphic content. The social media platform said the post – shared by Daines’ communication director Rachel Dumke – violated its “rules against graphic violence or adult content in profile images.”

“My wife is a great shot. What can I say?” said the senator when asked to comment on his suspension.

Twitter directed Daines to delete the image in order to regain his account. 

News of Daines’s Feb. 6 suspension prompted outrage online, with many conservative leaders expressing frustration with the platform’s regulations.

South Dakota Senator Mike Rounds changed his profile picture to an image of him hunting birds. 

Hey [Elon Musk] – Why is Twitter putting [Steve Daines] in Twitter jail? For his wife being a good shot?” he wrote. “I guess since I’ve updated my profile picture, I better turn myself in.”

Rounds’ account had not been suspended as of 1 p.m. EST on Feb. 7.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz called the suspension “ridiculous” and used the hashtag #FreeSteveDaines.

If you don’t like hunting, fine, don’t go. But don’t censor others who disagree,” wrote Cruz on Twitter. “And I’m pretty sure this is a formal job responsibility for a senator from Montana!”

This isn’t graphic violence. It’s a way of life ingrained in the American fabric from Montana to Georgia and beyond!” wrote Georgia Congressman Buddy Carter.

Congrats Cindy & [Steve Daines] on a successful hunt. If [Twitter] is so jealous, they should ask for an invite next time, but they certainly shouldn’t ban him,” said Idaho Senator Jim Risch. “Hunting is part of Idaho’s culture just like it is in Montana & across the West. What is Twitter doing?”

Twitter users are now sharing their own hunting photos accompanied with #FreeSteveDaines. 

Dumke shared a Feb. 7 post from Elon Musk, who wrote that “going forward, Twitter will be broadly accepting of different values, rather than trying to impose its own specific values on the world.”

Axios political correspondent Josh Kraushaar reported that Daines’s account was briefly unsuspended around 9 a.m. on Feb. 7 before being suspended once more minutes later 

Daines, a Republican, was first elected to the United States House of Representatives in 2012 and the Senate in 2014. During the 118th Congress, Daines proposed withholding lawmakers’ pay until the legislative body balances the national budget in order to increase accountability.

“Congress is here to serve–not to be served,” he said, per The Washington Times. “If Congress can’t do its job and pass a balanced budget, members shouldn’t get paid.” 

The Senator also denounced President Joe Biden for not shooting down a Chinese spy balloon that was spotted above Montana last week. He said his office was made aware of the balloon after residents called in to report the object.

“I believe that Montana truly got a firsthand look at the Biden Administration’s weakness on foreign policy this week,” Daines told reporters during a telephone press conference on Feb. 3. “It is a tremendous embarrassment for the United States of America. Montanans and all the American people deserve answers from the Pentagon and from this administration on what happened and what is being done to ensure this never happens again.”

Daines’s account was ultimately reinstated around 1 p.m. ET on Feb. 7.


*For corrections please email [email protected]*