Tesla CEO Elon Musk denied claims from the CEO of Truth Social that he was ‘quietly encouraged’ by former President Donald Trump to buy Twitter.
Devin Nunes, the CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group, which includes Twitter rival Truth Social, claimed Trump spoke with Musk to push him to buy Twitter and that he was all for the $44 billion acquisition.
‘President Trump basically, before Elon Musk bought it, actually said to go and buy it because the goal of our company is to build a community where people are in a family-friendly, safe environment,’ Nunes told Fox Business on Thursday.
On Friday, Musk called out Nunes’ statement on Twitter, 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.’ Truth Social billed itself as a conservative alternative to Twitter, but its valuation has tanked after Musk bought Twitter and vowed to crack down on the site’s censorship.
Trump has claimed he won’t return to Twitter, from which he was banned in the wake of the January 6 riots, and has instead stuck to posting on Truth Social.
Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes claimed both he and Donald Trump told Elon Musk to buy the social media platform before the Tesla CEO made his $44 billion acquisition
Musk denied the claims and said he has not spoken to Trump about his deal
Musk, the world’s richest man, is poised to become the new CEO of Twitter. He is pictured attending the 2022 Met Gala on Sunday, his first social outing since announcing the takeover
Nunes’ statement also appear to come at odds with his company’s own interests, as Twitter is a direct competitor and Truth Social has marketed itself as platform for conservatives who feel restricted by mainstream social media sites.
Despite this, Nunes, a former congressman, told Fox that he, too, encouraged Elon to buy Twitter in order to end censorship on the platform.
‘That’s why we encouraged Elon Musk to buy it because someone has to take on tech tyrants,’ Nunes said. ‘Donald Trump wanted to make sure the American people got their voice back, and the internet was open, and that is what we are doing.
‘People like Elon Musk doing what he’s doing. We are definitely in favor of it.’
Many had hoped that Musk’s deal to buy Twitter would help reinstate Trump’s Twitter account, which was permanently suspended in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot, but the former president has said he has no plans to return.
Musk had previously mocked Truth Social, calling it ‘Trumpet,’ and suggested it only exists because of Twitter’s censorship policies.
Musk has vowed to make Twitter a haven for free speech and said he would make changes to how the platform censors, bans and suspends its users.
Musk said Twitter will remain free for most users, but may charge businesses and governments to use the platform. He said he would make the company public again within three years.
Nunes said both he and Trump approve of Musk’s Twitter acquisition, saying to would serve as a blow to to liberal ‘tech tyrants’. Pictured Nunes (left) with Trump in 2021
Nunes’ statements appear to be at odds with his company’s own interests, as Twitter is a direct competitor and Truth Social, which markets itself as platform for conservatives who feel restricted by mainstream social media sites
Many had hoped that Musk’s deal to buy Twitter would help reinstate Trump’s Twitter account, which was permanently suspended in the wake of the January 6 Capitol riot. Pictured, Musk (left) speaking with Trump in the White House in 2017
It comes as Musk is poised to become the new CEO of Twitter when his $44 billion acquisition goes through.
The tech tycoon will hold the role for a few months following the buyout, CNBC reported on Thursday morning.
Specific details on the jobs, including how long it will last, were not immediately available and Twitter did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
The move could spark chaos at the social media giant, where Parag Agrawal has only been CEO for a few months.
It comes after it was revealed that Musk has 18 investors committed to collectively stump up more than $7 billion worth of equity to help fund his takeover.
In a filing on Thursday, Musk said his friend the Oracle Corp co-founder Larry Ellison’s trust will invest $1 billion towards the $44 billion buyout.
Musk said he had also received equity commitment letters from investors including Sequoia Capital ($800m) and Brookfield ($250m) for financing of $7.14 billion.
Other investors listed included Qatari Holding ($375m) and NYC real estate investor Steve Witkoff ($100m).
The filing also listed Saudi Arabia’s Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Bin Abdulaziz Alsaud as having committed 34,948,975 Twitter Inc shares.
The royal made the move ‘in order to retain an equity investment in Twitter following completion of the Merger’.
Alwaleed had initially opposed the buyout but tweeted at Musk on Thursday referring to his ‘new friend’ who will be an ‘excellent leader’ at the social media giant.
The tech tycoon has agreed to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share, a 38 percent premium over the closing price on April 1 which was the last trading day before he disclosed his approximately 9 percent stake in the platform.
The US Federal Trade Commission is reportedly reviewing Elon Musk’s $44 billion Twitter buyout for potential antitrust concerns
Representative Jim Jordan on Wednesday issued a letter raising concerns about the FTC antitrust probe and suggesting he planned to investigate
Elon Musk has won the backing of some of the world’s wealthiest investors for his $44 billion takeover of Twitter Inc.
The deal, however, is currently under review by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for potential antitrust concerns.
The FTC now has 30 days to consider the deal and decide whether to issue a second request to probe the matter further, although most experts believe there are no antitrust concerns that could block the takeover, according to Bloomberg.
However, the anti-monopoly activist group Open Markets Initiative, where Democratic FTC Chair Lina Khan used to work, has urged the agency to block the deal, saying that it ‘poses immediate and direct threats to American democracy and free speech.’
The group argued that Musk’s ownership of the Starlink satellite internet service already gives him control over a key communication platform, and that his purchase of Twitter would be a dangerous concentration of power.
Representative Jim Jordan, the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, on Wednesday issued a letter raising concerns about the FTC antitrust probe and suggesting he planned to investigate.
Jordan expressed concern about statements by the Open Markets Institute (OMI), which he called ‘an extreme left-wing political advocacy organization,’ and its call for the FTC to stop the deal.
Jordan has backed Musk’s purchase of Twitter in hopes that some conservatives, like former President Donald Trump, who were removed from the social media platform would be able to return.
There is little expectation that Musk’s potential purchase of Twitter will be rejected by antitrust enforcers.