After news broke this week of billionaire entrepreneur Elon Musk’s buyout of Twitter for $44 billion, President Joe Biden and his team have been watching closely as Musk announced his intention to make some changes to the platform that may include reinstating the account of former president Donald Trump.
Trump was banned from Twitter in 2021 after the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. At the time, Twitter released a statement saying Trump had violated the platform’s Glorification of Violence policy.
“Due to the ongoing tensions in the United States, and an uptick in the global conversation in regards to the people who violently stormed the Capitol on January 6, 2021, [Trump’s] Tweets must be read in the context of broader events in the country and the ways in which the President’s statements can be mobilized by different audiences, including to incite violence, as well as in the context of the pattern of behavior from this account in recent weeks,” said Twitter at the time.
Biden officials are now concerned that with Musk’s promise to make changes at Twitter and the Tesla CEO’s strong opinions on free speech, he will make a move to reinstate banned users, including Trump and other Republican operatives who used Twitter heavily to distribute and perpetuate misinformation about the legitimacy of the 2020 presidential election.
Democrats have been openly opposed to Musk’s purchase of the platform. “Now, Trump will use Twitter to do far more damage to regain power in 2022 and 2024 while Elon Musk has given no indication that he will do anything to stop him,” said Democratic Strategist Mary Anne Marsh to CNBC.
Trump, however, said this week on Fox News that he has no plans to return to Twitter, and will instead be formally joining his own newly-launched social media platform, Truth Social. It is rumored that Trump will be joining the new platform within the next seven days.