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White House press secretary Jen Psaki didn’t comment on any “hypothetical policies” Elon Musk could enact as the new owner of Twitter – including whether President Biden would be concerned about former President Trump being welcomed back to the platform.
Twitter, on Monday afternoon, announced it agreed to be acquired by Musk for $44 billion.
Psaki, on Monday during the daily press briefing, was asked whether the White House was concerned that Musk’s purchase of Twitter could change Trump’s permanent suspension on the platform.
“No matter who owns or runs Twitter, the president has long been concerned about the power of large social media platforms, the power they have over our everyday lives,” Psaki said. “He’s long argued that tech platforms must be held accountable for the harms they cause.”
Press secretary Jen Psaki speaks during a briefing at the White House April 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Trump was permanently suspended from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat following the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot. Twitter deemed a number of his tweets connected to the violent protests as inflammatory and warned of “the risk of further incitement of violence.”
Psaki said Biden has been “a strong supporter of fundamental reforms to achieve that goal, including reforms to section 230, enacting antitrust reforms, requiring more transparency, and he is encouraged that there is bipartisan interest in Congress.”
Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act currently states that “no provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”
“In terms of what hypothetical policies might happen, I’m just not going to speak to that at this point in time,” Psaki said.
Trump, in an exclusive interview with Fox News Monday, however, said he would not return to Twitter, and instead, would use his own social media platform, TRUTH Social.
“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.”
Trump told Fox News he will begin “TRUTHing” over the next week.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey, on July 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
The Trump Media & Technology Group social media platform, TRUTH Social, formally launched last month and has been up and running under its brand-new cloud services for four days, after having beta-tested since February. Former Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Calif., is the company’s CEO.
“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,” Trump said. “Twitter has bots and fake accounts, and we are doing everything we can.”
He added: “The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter.”
When asked whether a Musk-owned Twitter could be competition to TRUTH, Trump said he believes it would be a positive development in the social media space.
A screen grab of President Trump’s Twitter page Friday.
“I think it is good. We want liberty and justice and fairness in our country, and the more we can have open, the better,” Trump said. “But no, I don’t view that as a competition for what I am doing.”
“This is a platform for my voice. TRUTH is a platform for my voice and for my supporters,” Trump said. “But I want everybody to come over to TRUTH – conservatives, liberals, whatever.”