Following his bid to acquire Twitter, Elon Musk says he intends to reverse the social media platforms ban on former president Donald Trump once the purchase is finalized.
Speaking at FT Live’s Future of the Car conference, Musk said permanent bans “should be extremely rare, and should be reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts.”
“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” Musk said. “I think that was a mistake, because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Following Trump’s ban on January 9, 2021, following the Capitol Hill riot, the former president has continued to maintain an active voice through newsletters and public appearances.
The social media platform said it made the decision to ban the former president after the Jan. 6 riot “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Trump was a prolific user of the platform and amassed 80 million followers on the platform.
“I would reverse the permanent ban,” said Musk, who is poised to become Twitter's interim CEO following the takeover. “I don’t own Twitter yet. So this is not like a thing that will definitely happen, because what if I don’t own Twitter?”
After Musk announced he was interested in taking over Twitter to transform it into a free speech platform, questions arose as to whether he would reinvite Trump to resume his participation on the platform, with many of Trump’s supporters calling on him to do so.
The former president said that he would not rejoin Twitter and that he would instead be sticking to his own platform, Truth Social.
“I will be on Truth Social within the week. It’s on schedule. We have a lot of people signed up. I like Elon Musk. I like him a lot. He’s an excellent individual. We did a lot for Twitter when I was in the White House. I was disappointed by the way I was treated by Twitter. I won’t be going back on Twitter,” Trump said.
Musk, who is the founder and CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, acknowledged Trump’s remarks during the event. However, many, including Biden administration officials, believe Trump will be back.
As CNBC reported, in April, White House officials and Democratic strategists are concerned about Trump’s return to Twitter ahead of the 2024 presidential election. The Democrats are also worried that Musk will unban other Republican operatives who were permanently banned.