Donald Trump said Monday that he approves of tech billionaire Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter — but the former president will not be coming back to the platform that banned him.
The right’s longstanding debate over whether it’s better to fight for control of old institutions or build new ones is getting real.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth,” Trump told Fox News, referring to his new social media startup. “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 said he would start posting to Truth Social over the next week.
- “We’re taking in millions of people, and what we’re finding is that the response on Truth is much better than being on Twitter,” he said. “Twitter has bots and fake accounts, and we are doing everything we can.”
- Truth CEO Devin Nunes, a former GOP congressman, said earlier Monday that Trump “really doesn’t have an interest in going on Twitter.”
Meanwhile, Musk and Twitter announced Monday afternoon they had reached a deal for the world’s richest man to buy the social media giant for about $44 billion.
- “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement.
- Musk also vowed “to make Twitter better than ever.”
HOW TWITTER IS REACTING
- Some expressed renewed hope that Twitter will reinstate Trump’s account, which was permanently suspended over his role in the Capitol riot.
But a handful of right-wing dissidents, like writer Sohrab Ahmari, voiced skepticism that even Musk can overturn “the system” of entrenched liberal power.
If you’re the world’s richest man, or have J.K. Rowling-level F-you money, you can defy “the system.” That’s not cause for any less pessimism, but rather more. https://t.co/C787NUY1MU
— Sohrab Ahmari (@SohrabAhmari) April 25, 2022
Ahmari has argued “power politics” are the only way to ensure freedom of speech, while other thinkers on the right have advocated building alternative institutions, like Truth.
- “For the institutions that liberals currently run to command general support and respect, they need more conservative buy-in. For conservatives to buy in, the right needs some kind of guarantee of actual influence or power. And for that guarantee to seem credible, well, you might need to have a Republican president found some public institutions and see what happens next,” New York Times columnist Ross Douthat recently wrote.
WHAT THE MARKET THINKS
Shares of the special acquisition company that plans to take Truth public fell nearly 12% Monday on news that Musk’s takeover of Twitter was in the offing.
- Twitter’s stock was up 6% Monday morning before trading of the shares was halted.