Donald Trump quietly “encouraged” Elon Musk’s takeover of social media giant Twitter ahead of the $44 billion deal, according to the boss of his own social-media app Truth Social — though Musk quickly disputed the claim.
“President Trump, basically before Elon Musk bought it, actually said to go and buy it because the goal of our company is really to build a community where people are in a family-friendly, safe environment,” Devin Nunes said in an appearance on Fox Business Network.
“That’s why we encouraged Elon Musk to buy it, because someone has to take on these tech tyrants,” Nunes said. “Donald Trump wanted to make sure that the American people got their voice back and that the internet was open and that’s what we are doing.”
Nunes, a former House GOP lawmaker who is CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group, added that Truth Social was “all for it.”
Musk denied Nunes’ account in a tweet following publication of this article, writing, “This is false. I’ve had no communication, directly or indirectly, with Trump, who has publicly stated that he will be exclusively on Truth Social.”
Trump recently insisted that he has no interest in rejoining Twitter. However, news of the Twitter buyout tanked shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp, the company that owns Truth Social.
Truth Social executives portray the platform as a social media alternative for conservatives who feel they are being censored on mainstream Big Tech platforms. Musk’s pledge to re-center Twitter with a focus on free speech is a likely setback for Truth Social and other right-leaning upstarts.
Shares of Digital World Acquisition Corp., the SPAC planning to take Truth Social public if it can gain regulatory approval, are down more than 16% since Musk first disclosed his Twitter stake.
Nunes claimed that Truth Social users “get much more engagement on our platform” than Twitter, even though the app has “barely been open.”
Musk’s buy has also sparked speculation that Trump’s Twitter account could be reinstated after it was permanently suspended in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Trump has said he will not return to Twitter even if the deal is completed.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth,” Trump told Fox News. “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 personally addressed Truth Social last month, noting the firm was leading the Apple App Store’s most-downloaded list. He also poked fun at the app’s name.
“Truth Social (terrible name) exists because Twitter censored free speech,” Musk tweeted. “Should be called Trumpet instead!”
Truth Social has struggled since its debut in the App Store in February, with some users unable to access the app or stuck on a long wait list.
As The Post reported, Musk spent the last several days amassing the necessary funding to buy Twitter after the company’s board accepted his $44 billion offer.
His efforts included selling Tesla shares worth more than $8 billion and securing more than $7 billion in funds from others, including longtime ally Larry Ellison.
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