WASHINGTON — Elon Musk said he will reverse Twitter’s permanent ban of former President Donald Trump if the Tesla CEO follows through with his plan to buy the social media company.
Musk, speaking virtually at a Future of the Car summit hosted by the Financial Times, said Twitter’s Trump ban was a “morally bad decision” and “foolish in the extreme.”
He said permanent bans of Twitter accounts should be rare and reserved for accounts that are scams or automated bots.
Last month, Trump said that he has no intention of rejoining Twitter even if his account is reinstated.
“I am not going on Twitter. I am going to stay on Truth,” Trump was quoted telling the network. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on Truth.”
Trump was barred from major social media platforms after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection, with Twitter citing the “risk of further incitement of violence." The decision denied him the megaphone he had used to generate media attention and speak directly to his followers, which had been integral to his political rise.
At the time, the former president had roughly 89 million followers on Twitter alone.
Musk, the world’s wealthiest person and a self-described free-speech absolutist, had said he wanted to buy and privatize Twitter because he believed it wasn’t living up to its potential as a free speech platform. It raised questions about whether he might reinstate Trump’s account as the former president lays the groundwork for another White House run in 2024.