Trump claims he won't rejoin Twitter after Elon Musk purchase

Former US president said he will stay on his Truth Social platform

Former US president Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Delaware, Ohio. Reuters

Former US president Donald Trump said on Monday that he has no intention of rejoining Twitter even if his account is reinstated following Elon Musk agreeing to buy the social media company for about $44 billion.

Mr Trump told Fox News that he will instead focus on his own platform, Truth Social.

The platform has been mired in problems since its launch earlier this year.

“I am not going on Twitter. I am going to stay on Truth,” Mr Trump was quoted as telling the network.

“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.”

Mr Trump was barred from major social media platforms after the deadly January 6 insurrection, with Twitter citing the “risk of further incitement of violence".

The decision denied him the ability to speak directly to his followers, which had been integral to his political rise. Before his account was banned, he had about 89 million followers on Twitter.

Mr Musk, the world’s wealthiest person and a self-described free speech absolutist, had said he wanted to buy and privatise Twitter because he believed it wasn’t living up to its potential as a free speech platform.

It had raised questions about whether he might reinstate Mr Trump’s account as the former president lays the groundwork for another White House run in 2024.

Mr Trump has continued to make claims of election fraud in the 2020 presidential election, which he lost to President Joe Biden, since leaving office and it is unclear how Mr Musk would approach those statements if Mr Trump were to return to the site.

“Any negotiations to sell Twitter to Musk must include clear enforceable mechanisms to uphold and maintain existing community standards, including the removal of those who violate those standards,” progressive group Media Matters for America president Angelo Carusone said in a statement.

In recent weeks, Mr Musk has voiced a number of proposed changes for the company, including relaxing its content restrictions. He has said he would be “very reluctant” to delete content and would be cautious of permanent bans.

After being kicked off social media platforms, Mr Trump launched his own social media app and sued Twitter, Facebook and Google’s YouTube, claiming he and other conservatives had been wrongfully censored, even though posts by conservative commentators are routinely the most widely shared.

“Truth Social will be a voice for me,” he said. “And that’s something nobody else can get.”

At a rally in Ohio on Saturday, Mr Trump urged his supporters to join him on Truth Social. His most recent post is from two months ago.

“Go out and sign up now,” he told them. “Have a lot of fun.”

More than one million users downloaded the app after its launch but interest appears to have waned amid technical glitches and long wait times to access accounts.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: April 25, 2022, 11:45 PM
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