NEW YORK (AP) — Former US president Donald Trump said Monday that he has no intention of rejoining Twitter even if his account is reinstated following Elon Musk’s agreement to buy the social media giant for roughly $44 billion.
Trump told Fox News that he will instead focus on his own platform, Truth Social, which has been mired in problems since its launch earlier this year.
“I am not going on Twitter. I am going to stay on Truth,” Trump was quoted 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.”
Trump was barred from major social media platforms after the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection, with Twitter citing the “risk of further incitement of violence.” The decision denied him the megaphone he had used to generate media attention and speak directly to his followers, which had been integral to his political rise.
At the time, the former president had roughly 89 million followers on Twitter alone.
Musk, the world’s wealthiest person and a self-described free-speech absolutist, had said he wanted to buy and privatize Twitter because he believed it wasn’t living up to its potential as a free speech platform. It raised questions about whether he might reinstate Trump’s account as the former president lays the groundwork for another White House run in 2024.
Trump has continued to spread lies about his 2020 election defeat in speeches and statements since leaving office, and it is unclear how Musk would approach those statements if Trump were ever to return to the site.
In recent weeks, Musk has voiced a number of proposed changes for the company, including relaxing its content restrictions, and said he would be “very reluctant” to delete content and cautious of permanent bans.
After being kicked off social media platforms, 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.
On Monday, he said he welcomed Musk’s purchase and told Fox News he didn’t see Twitter as his own product’s competition.
“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, Trump also urged his supporters to join him on Truth Social.
“Go out and sign up now,” he told them. “Have a lot of fun.”