NEW YORK (AP) — Former President Donald Trump said Monday he has no plans to join Twitter even if his account is reinstated following Elon Musk’s deal to buy the giant. social media for about $44 billion.
Trump told Fox News he would instead focus on his own platform, Truth Social, which has been mired in issues since launching earlier this year.
STUDY: Should Trump be allowed to return to social media after leaving office? Half of Americans say yes
“I don’t go on Twitter. I’m going to stick to the truth,” Trump told the network. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he will improve it and he’s a good man, but I’m going to stick with Truth.”
Trump was banned from major social media platforms after the deadly January 6 uprising, with Twitter citing the “risk of incitement to violence”. The ruling denied him the megaphone he had used to garner media attention and speak directly to his supporters, which had been integral to his political rise.
At the time, the former president had around 89 million followers on Twitter alone.
Musk, the world’s richest person and a self-proclaimed free-speech absolutist, said he wanted to buy and privatize Twitter because he felt it was not living up to its potential as a as a platform for freedom of expression. It raised questions about whether he could reinstate Trump’s account as the former president lays the groundwork for another White House race in 2024.
Trump has continued to spread lies about his 2020 election defeat in speeches and statements since leaving office, and it’s unclear how Musk would approach those statements if Trump were ever to return to the site.
Over the past few weeks, Musk has voiced a number of proposed changes for the company, including easing its content restrictions, and said he would be “very reluctant” to remove content and that he would would be wary of permanent bans.
RED PLUS: How the attack on the US Capitol highlights the challenges of countering right-wing extremism online
After being kicked off social media platforms, Trump launched his own social media app and sued Google’s Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, claiming he and other conservatives had been wrongfully censored, even though commenters’ posts Conservatives are regularly the most widely shared.
On Monday, he said he was happy with Musk’s purchase and told Fox News he didn’t see Twitter as a competitor to his own product.
“Truth Social will be a voice for me,” he said. “And that’s something no one else can get.”
At a rally in Ohio on Saturday, Trump also urged his supporters to join him on Truth Social.
“Get out and sign up now,” he told them. “Have a lot of fun.”