Elon Musk denies that Trump encouraged him to buy Twitter

Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks to media representatives at the construction site of the Tesla Gigafactory in Grünheide near Berlin, September 3, 2020.

Julian Stahl | photo alliance via Getty Images

Elon Musk on Friday flatly denied a claim by the head of ex-President Donald Trump’s new social media company that Trump encouraged Musk’s bid to buy Twitter.

“False,” Musk tweeted in response to a New York Post article about that claim by Trump Media & Technology Group CEO Devin Nunes.

“I have had no communication, direct or indirect, with Trump, who has publicly stated that he will be exclusively on Truth Social,” Musk, head of Tesla and SpaceX, wrote.

Nunes, in a Wednesday TV appearance on Fox Business, said Trump’s social media app, Truth Social, was “all for” Musk’s decision to buy Twitter and take it private with a deal. $44 billion – a somewhat finicky claim since Twitter is a competitor to Truth Social.

“President Trump, basically before Elon Musk bought it, actually said go buy it because you know the goal of our business is really to build a community where people live in an environment family-friendly and safe,” said Nunes, a former Republican. congressman from California, during the appearance.

Twitter banned Trump, who had been an obsessive user of the platform, in January 2021 for what the company called “risk of inciting violence.”

The ban follows the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riot by a mob of Trump supporters that disrupted President Joe Biden’s election certification.

Trump announced plans to launch Truth Social as a competitor to Twitter last fall, and said his social media company would go public through a deal with so-called blank check company Digital World Acquisition. .

On April 25, Twitter accepted Musk’s offer to buy the company, which is subject to shareholder and regulator approval.

CNBC Politics

Learn more about CNBC’s political coverage:

Nunes, during his interview on Fox Business, suggested that Trump’s alleged incitement of Musk to buy Twitter was consistent with Truth Social’s mission.

“That’s why we encouraged Elon Musk to buy it, because someone has to keep taking on these tech bullies,” Nunes said. “Donald Trump wanted to make sure the American people had their voices back and the internet was open and that’s what we’re doing.”

“And so people like Elon Musk are doing what he’s doing, you know we’re definitely in favor of that,” Nunes said.

In late April, Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen that he wouldn’t return to Twitter even if Musk took over and reversed the ban on him.

“No, I’m not going back to Twitter,” said Trump, who had nearly 90 million followers on the platform before the ban.

“I’ll be on Truth Social within the week. It’s on schedule. We have a lot of people signed up,” he said.

“I love Elon Musk. I love him a lot. He’s a great person. We did a lot for Twitter when I was in the White House. I was disappointed with the way I was treated by Twitter. I won’t go back to Twitter,” Trump said.

Statistics show that Trump, who as president averaged more than eight tweets a day in the latter half of 2017 and the first half of 2018, steadily increased that average in subsequent years. He found himself averaging 34 tweets a day during his last semester in office, before he was banned.

On Truth Social, Trump had posted a so-called Truth or “ReTruthed” message from another user on Friday less than 30 times combined in the past two months. Almost all of these messages had been published in the last week.

Correction: Devin Nunes is CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group. An earlier version had an error in the company name.

Leave a Comment