Former president Donald Trump said Thursday he likely wouldn’t return to Twitter if Elon Musk bought the platform and reinstated his account.
Trump made the remarks in an interview with Sirius XM’s “Americano Media” hours after Musk made an offer to buy Twitter for around $43 billion in cash, with the Tesla CEO saying he intends to transform Twitter into a bastion of free speech.
Musk told the TED Conference in Vancouver, Canada on Thursday that he wants to take Twitter private and transform it in to an open-source platform and an “inclusive arena for free speech.”
“Twitter has become kind of the de facto town square, so it’s just really important that people have both the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law,” Musk said during the event.
While he didn’t provide details about how he thinks Twitter restricts free speech, he did say that Twitter should be less eager to permanently ban problematic users from the platform, suggesting temporary “timeouts” instead.
“A good sign as to whether there’s free speech is, is someone you don’t like allowed to say something you don’t like,” Musk said. “And if that is the case, then we have free speech.”
Twitter banned Trump from the platform following the Jan. 6 Capitol breach, claiming his posts violated a glorification of violence policy.
‘Twitter Has Become Very Boring’
Asked in the interview with “Americano Media” whether he’d resume his activity on Twitter if Musk was successful with his buyout and restored his account, Trump said he “probably wouldn’t have any interest” as Twitter has become “boring” and he’s launching a competing social media platform, Truth Social.
“Twitter has become very boring, they’ve gotten rid of a lot of the good voices on Twitter, a lot of the conservative voices,” the former president said.
“It used to be a war on Twitter, but it was a very interesting war,” Trump said. “Mentally, we had some pretty good fights.”
“Now it’s boring and friends of mine tell me that Twitter is not the same place, it’s a very boring place right now,” he added.
Devin Nunes, former lawmaker and current CEO of Truth Social, the social media startup created by a company founded by Trump, was asked in a recent interview on Fox News what he thought of Musk taking a stake in Twitter and potentially getting more involved in how the company is run.
Nunes responded that Trump’s intention in backing Truth Social was prompted by a desire to “open the internet back up so that the American people can get their voice back.”
“It’s clear that Twitter is kind of a ghost town, they desperately need Elon Musk to be there,” Nunes continued, adding that he thinks Musk “believes in free speech, like we do.”
Musk’s Twitter takeover bid was cheered by Republican lawmakers.
Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.), whose Twitter account was once temporarily suspended, said in a tweet that Musk’s “fight for free speech is patriotic and necessary. He deserves the Medal of Freedom.”
Rep. Troy Nehls (R-Texas) wrote, “Make Twitter Great Again.”
Twitter is reportedly considering ways to block Musk’s takeover attempt, including by resorting to a so-called “poison pill” tactic that makes it more financially challenging for an acquirer.
The Epoch Times has reached out to Twitter for comment, but no response was received by publication time.