Trump's 2-Year Facebook Ban Prompts Quip From White House Spokeswoman

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took a rare dig at former President Donald Trump following news of Trump's two-year ban—with possible extension depending on his behavior—from Facebook on Friday.

"We learned a lot from President Trump, the former president, the last couple of years—about his behavior and how he uses these platforms," Psaki told reporters during the daily White House briefing. "Feels pretty unlikely that the zebra is going to change his stripes over the next two years, but we'll see."

Facebook announced Friday afternoon that Trump would be banned for two years, effective January 7 of this year, then re-evaluated for whether he should be allowed to return to the platform and Instagram. Trump's account initially was suspended indefinitely on January 7 for what Facebook deemed the then-president's "praise for people engaged in violence at the Capitol on January 6."

"Given the gravity of the circumstances that led to Mr. Trump's suspension, we believe his actions constituted a severe violation of our rules which merit the highest penalty available under the new enforcement protocols," the company announced in a news release. "At the end of this period, we will look to experts to assess whether the risk to public safety has receded."

President Joe Biden has largely avoided talking about his predecessor. Trump didn't attend Biden's inauguration and left town before turning over the White House—a bitter shift from recent transitions of power.

Psaki said the White House sees Trump's removal from Facebook as a company decision but agrees that social media platforms have a duty to combat misinformation that could harm people.

"It's a decision for the company to make—any platform to make—and clearly they've come out and made their decision," she said. "Our view continues to be that every platform, whether it's Facebook, Twitter, any platform that's disseminating information to millions of Americans, has a responsibility to crack down on disinformation."

Trump, who refused to concede the election, continued for weeks to claim on social media that he had won and Biden's victory would be overturned before the inauguration. Ahead of the January 6 certification of the election results at the U.S. Capitol, Trump tweeted that a rally that he planned for that day would be "wild."

He held a rally less than two miles from the U.S. Capitol as the certification was set to begin and urged his followers to go to the Capitol in protest. Hundreds stormed the building, causing millions of dollars in damage and forcing lawmakers and then-Vice President Mike Pence to seek shelter from the mob in safe spaces.

Three hours into the riot, Trump released a video telling the crowd, "Go home. We love you. You're very special."

Later that evening, he tweeted: "These are the things and events that happen when a sacred landslide election victory is so unceremoniously & viciously stripped away from great patriots who have been badly & unfairly treated for so long. Go home with love & in peace. Remember this day forever!"

Since he was banned from Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, which was his preferred form of direct communication for years, Trump has taken to sending out short emailed statements to reporters, written in the style of his past social media posts, to respond to various topics.

He lashed out at Facebook after the news of his suspension came down Friday, accusing the social media platform of "insulting" his supporters.

"They shouldn't be allowed to get away with this censoring and silencing, and ultimately, we will win. Our Country can't take this abuse anymore!" Trump wrote in a statement.

Trump, who has continued to falsely insist that the election was "rigged" and that he beat Biden, quickly followed with another brief statement directed at Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

"Next time I'm in the White House there will be no more dinners, at his request, with Mark Zuckerberg and his wife. It will be all business!" Trump wrote.

Donald Trump banned from Facebook
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki took a rare dig at former President Donald Trump following news of Trump's two-year ban—with possible extension depending on his behavior—from Facebook on Friday. Above, Trump leaves Trump Tower in Manhattan on May 18, 2021, in New York City. James Devaney/GC Images/Getty Images