One of Elon Musk’s first actions as Twitter’s new CEO may be an indication that he is preparing former President Donald Trump to return as a chief tweeter.
According to Washington Post insiders, Musk fired Parag Agrawal (chief financial officer), and Vijaya Gadde (head of legal policy and trust), almost immediately after closing the $44 million Twitter deal. According to insiders speaking with the Washington Post, Gadde was the key figure in Trump’s ban.
Musk has so far only tweeted one message about his acquisition, “The bird is freed.” The question now is whether Trump would return to Twitter if he was not banned. He previously stated that he wouldn’t, but he prefers to remain on Truth Social, his alternative platform, rather than being banned.
the bird is freed
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 28, 2022
Musk declared in May that he would remove the former president from office. After legal disputes with Twitter’s previous owners, he has not commented on the matter in recent months. Musk stated that Twitter’s decision to ban Trump following the Capitol riot was “a mistake” and “aligned a large portion of the country.” He then called the decision “morally wrong” and “flat-out stupid” at a Financial Times conference. Musk said that accounts that spread spam or operate bots should not be subject to permanent bans. Reuters reported that he said temporary suspensions should be used only in exceptional cases but could be useful for “wrong” and “bad” tweets.
Already, there has been opposition to the idea of Trump returning from top ad-buying agencies. The Wall Street Journal reported that Kieley Taylor, GroupM’s global head of partnerships, stated that at least 12 clients had told the agency to stop advertising on Twitter if Trump returned,
Musk sent an open letter to advertisers Wednesday stating that Twitter shouldn’t “become a free for all hellscape where anyone can say anything without any consequences!”
Dear Twitter Advertisers pic.twitter.com/GMwHmInPAS
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) October 27, 2022
According to the Wall Street Journal, a Musk associate said that Trump’s ban was at the time Musk disagreed with Trump’s censoring. He called the move “insane”
Trump has so far only said that he wouldn’t return to Truth Social even though his account is not banned. He hasn’t commented publicly on this issue in recent months. Trump said, “I’m not going to Twitter. Trump stated to Fox News that he would continue to stick with Truth in April. “I hope Elon purchases Twitter. He’ll make improvements to it and he is a great man. But I will be sticking to Truth.”
Devin Nunes (head of Truth Social) refuted a viral tweet that circulated on Twitter on Thursday. It purportedly was from Trump congratulating Musk for the acquisition and claiming that he was told by Truth Social that his account would be up and running by Monday.
@realDonaldTrump’s left-wing desperation to return to Twitter Nunes wrote #deepfakes #FakeNews.
Trump was active on Truth Social at the time Musk officially took over Twitter. He gave some midterm endorsements but has not yet commented publicly on the purchase.
Trump’s prolific Twitter usage was well-known, both before and during his presidency. He had 80 million followers at the time of Trump’s ban. He may be able to post whatever he likes on Truth Social but he is far less reach with only 4.37 million followers.
According to reports, the White House is excited about Trump’s possible return to Twitter. Officials believe that this will boost their electoral chances in a possible 2024 rematch.
“White House officials cheer for — a few of them told me that this weekend — that Elon Musk does indeed take Twitter, they hope the very first thing he does it is put Donald Trump back onto it,” Jonathan Lemire, Politico’s White House Bureau Chief, stated on MSNBC’s Morning Joe in June.