Twitter has banned the account of Steve Bannon, a former Donald Trump adviser after he called for the beheading of Dr. Anthony Fauci and the FBI director, Christopher Wray, and the posting of their heads outside the White House as a “warning”.
Speaking on his podcast, the War Room, which was distributed in video form on a number of social media outlets, the far-right provocateur appeared to endorse violence against Wray and the US most senior infectious diseases expert.
“Second term kicks off with firing Wray, firing Fauci … no I actually want to go a step farther but the president is a kind-hearted man and a good man,” Bannon said.
“I’d actually like to go back to the old times of Tudor England. I’d put their heads on pikes, right, I’d put them at the two corners of the White House as a warning to federal bureaucrats, you either get with the programme or you’re gone.”
Twitter banned Bannon’s War Room account permanently, saying it had suspended the podcast account for violating its policy on the glorification of violence.
The same video was on Facebook for more than Eight hours before it was also removed.
There has been mounting concern over the risk of violence following this week’s US elections, amid highly inflammatory rhetoric from Trump and his allies, who have falsely said Democrats are trying to “steal the election”.
Philadelphia police arrested two men who were allegedly involved in a plot to attack the Pennsylvania Convention Center on Thursday night. Police were tipped off, possibly from a concerned family member of one of the men, who had driven 300 miles (480km) from Virginia.
The moves against Bannon came hours after Facebook banned “Stop the Steal”, a group involved in organizing protests this weekend throughout the US against the presidential vote count.
One post, shared by the Center for Countering Digital Hate, declared: “Neither side is going to concede. Time to clean the guns, time to hit the streets.”
The increasingly heated language around the election has also included interventions from more mainstream figures, including the former Republican House speaker Newt Gingrich, who appeared to call for election workers in Pennsylvania to be arrested.
Speaking to Sean Hannity on Fox News, Gingrich amplified Trump’s false complaints of election rigging and mused about what he believed was the solution.
“My hope is that President Trump will lead the millions of Americans who understand exactly what’s going on,” Gingrich said. “The Philadelphia machine is corrupt. The Atlanta machine is corrupt. The machine in Detroit is corrupt. And they are trying to steal the presidency. And we should not allow them to do that.”
“First of all, under federal law, we should lock up the people who are breaking the law,” he continued. “You stop somebody from being an observer, you just broke federal law. Do you hide and put up papers so nobody can see what you’re doing? You just broke federal law. You bring in ballots that aren’t real? You just broke federal law.”