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Elon Musk denies Twitter takeover is to do with Donald Trump

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Musk-Twitter (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
Musk-Twitter (Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Elon Musk has denied that his attempts to buy Twitter are the result of conversations with Donald Trump.

The denial comes after widespread speculation that the the former president’s ban from the platform is part of the reason that Mr Musk wants to control it.

Mr Musk was specifically responding to a report from the New York Post, which claimed that Mr Trump had “quietly encouraged” him to buy the company. It cited the chief executive of Truth Social, the much smaller social network on which Mr Trump now posts following his ban.

In a Twitter reply, Mr Musk not only rejected the report but said that he had not spoken with Mr Trump about the takeover.

While he did not explicitly deny that the former president could be allowed back onto the platform after the takeover, he did draw attention to the fact that he has committed to continue posting only on Truth Social.

“This is false,” Mr Musk wrote. “I’ve had no communication, directly or indirectly, with Trump, who has publicly stated that he will be exclusively on Truth Social.”

That is presumably a reference to Mr Trump’s commitment, made an interview with Fox News, to stay on his own Truth Social app and not return to Twitter.

“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,” Mr Trump said. “Twitter has bots and fake accounts, and we are doing everything we can.”

And he added: “The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter.”

Mr Trump called Mr Musk a “good man” and said he welcomed the takeover but said that he does not see the platform as a rival to his own operation.

Mr Musk has given no indication that his takeover is to do with Mr Trump or his ban from the platform, which came in the wake of the attacks on the Capitol by his supporters in January 2021.

But as commentators have attempted to work out Mr Musk’s aims for the platform, many have speculated that he could use his new control of Twitter to reverse that ban, which at the time it said would be permanent.

That theory has been encouraged by Mr Musk’s focus on free speech, and his suggestion that part of the reason for the takeover is to remove some of the restrictions on some people posting on the platform.

Some of those backing Mr Musk’s takeover of Twitter are thought to be close to trump, including Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison, who has provided $1 billion of financing. But the coalition includes a variety of different organisations – many of which are likely to have differing views on the future of the platform – including Jack Dorsey, who was Twitter’s chief executive when it banned Mr Trump.

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