On Tuesday, Elon Musk confirmed it: He wants Donald Trump back on Twitter.
“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump, I think that was a mistake,” Musk, who is in the process of buying the social media company, said at a Financial Times conference. “I would reverse the perma-ban. … Banning Trump from Twitter didn’t end Trump’s voice, it will amplify it among the right and this is why it’s morally wrong and flat out stupid.”
Which you might think, at first blush, is GREAT news for the former President. After all, he clearly misses the social media site since he was banned from it in the wake on the January 6, 2021, insurrection at the US Capitol. He regularly puts out press releases — via his Save America PAC — that read exactly like his tweets once did.
Except, Trump has staked much of his post-presidential capital — political and otherwise — on a rival social media site known as Truth Social.
And if Trump gets back on Twitter, the rationale for Truth Social — always somewhat flimsy — totally disappears.
Which puts Trump on the horns of a difficult dilemma: Does he, for financial and pride reasons, stick to Truth Social? Or does he go back to Twitter — where his 80 million-plus followers are, presumably, waiting for him?
(Sidebar: Trump doesn’t have to make that decision today. Or tomorrow. Musk doesn’t own Twitter yet and, even under the fastest scenario, likely won’t for a while.)
Trump, to date, has insisted he is sticking with Truth Social. “I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” Trump said in the immediate aftermath of reports of Musk purchasing the social media giant in April. “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.”
Which, well, OK. It would have been colossally dumb of Trump to abandon Truth Social before he even knew a) if Musk was actually going to buy Twitter and b) if Musk planned to reinstate him…