Rand Paul responds to YouTube blocking video of whistleblower mention: 'A chilling and disturbing day'

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., fired back after YouTube decided to block video of him on the Senate floor naming an individual who has been reported to be the anonymous whistleblower who filed a complaint that touched off President Trump's impeachment.

YouTube spokesperson Ivy Choi told Fox News that they had "removed hundreds of videos and over ten thousand comments that contained the name" because it violated their Community Guidelines.


"A chilling and disturbing day in America when giant web companies such as @YouTube decide to censor speech," Paul tweeted Thursday morning. "Protected speech, such as that of a senator on the Sen floor, can be blocked from getting to the people. This is dangerous & politically biased."

Paul had named two individuals on the floor back when senators were debating the articles of impeachment against Trump at the conclusion of the impeachment trial. During the trial, he also submitted a question that included the names, but Chief Justice John Roberts refused to enter it into the record.

"Now, during the proceedings, I asked a question that was disallowed, and I'm going to ask that question again this morning, because the Constitution does protect debate and does protect the asking of questions," the libertarian-leaning senator said. "I think they made a big mistake not allowing my question. My question did not talk about anybody who is a whistleblower. My question did not accuse anybody of being a whistleblower."

Paul claimed he "simply named two people's names," then proceeded to repeat his question, reading the names of two individuals.

"And you say, well we should protect the whistleblower, and the whistleblower deserves anonymity. The law does not preserve anonymity," Paul said. "His boss is not supposed to say anything about him, he's not supposed to be fired. I'm for that."

Paul said that his reason for naming names was out of concern over a possible plot to take down the president.


Choi told Fox News that the rest of Paul's remarks would still be permitted on YouTube, provided the video does not include the name.

"Video uploaders have the option to edit their videos to exclude the name and reupload," Choi said. News organizations like PBS NewsHour and USA Today have videos of the impeachment hearing that have been edited to not include the name.

Fox News' Hillary Vaughn contributed to this report. 

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