Tech billionaire Elon Musk said Tuesday that if his deal to buy Twitter went through that he would revoke the permanent ban on former President Donald Trump’s account.
Musk made the comments while being interviewed on FT Live’s “Future of the Car” conference.
“Permanent bans should be extremely rare and really reserved for accounts that are bots, or scam, spam accounts,” said Musk. “I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake, because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Trump’s account was banned during the rioting at the U.S. Capitol by some of his followers hoping to overturn the official results of the 2020 presidential election. Twitter said that it banned him because of he was inciting violence by continuing to call the election fraudulent, but many accused the company of being politically motivated by the decision.
“I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk added. “I don’t own Twitter yet. So this is not like a thing that will definitely happen, because what if I don’t own Twitter?”
After it was confirmed that Musk had come to an agreement to buy Twitter for about $44 billion, many speculated that the buyout might lead to the reinstitution of the former president’s account.
However, Trump made it clear in a statement soon after that he had no intention of returning to Twitter even if it lifted the ban because he thought the platform had become boring. He said he would be instead using his own social media platform, TRUTH social.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” Trump said to Fox News in April. “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.”
Musk referred to that comment when he added that banning Trump only amplified his voice among the right.
“And this is why it is morally wrong and flat-out stupid,” Musk concluded.
Last week, Trump also lost a lawsuit against Twitter demanding that it reinstitute his account. The judge in that case said it was not an abridgment of Trump’s speech because Twitter was a private company, not a government entity.
Here’s some of Musk’s comments about Trump:
Musk: Trump’s Permanent Twitter Ban Is ‘Flat-Out Stupid’