Trump says he will call tech companies to WH meeting soon

U.S. President Donald Trump attends a "social media summit" meeting with prominent conservative social media figures in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., July 11, 2019. REUTERS/Carlos Barria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he plans to call a meeting of executives from major social media platforms later this month.

At a meeting with conservative social media users at the White House, Trump said he would “be calling a big meeting of the companies in a week or two -- they have to be here.”

Trump said he would invite members of U.S. Congress to the meeting, and added he may also invite conservative social media users.

The White House declined to offer additional details.

Alphabet Inc GOOGL.O, Facebook Inc FB.O declined to immediately comment and Twitter Inc TWTR.N did not immediately comment. But three tech company officials told Reuters they had not received any invitations from the White House.

Trump also said he was directing his administration to “explore all regulatory and legislative solutions to protect free speech and the free speech rights of all Americans,” without elaborating.

Senator Josh Hawley, a Republican, said at the event that tech companies “would love to shut (Trump) up more than anything else.”

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by David Gregorio and Sonya Hepinstall