May 23, 2022

Trump says ‘no way’ Elon Musk buys Twitter now

The owner of Twitter’s biggest “conservative” social media competitor is weighing in on Friday’s big Elon Musk announcement.

Trump's Truth Social post

Trump doesn’t think Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter now.
Credit: Mashable Screenshot

Former president Donald Trump posted a statement on his alternative social platform, Truth Social, concerning the Tesla CEO’s tweet that he was putting his planned Twitter acquisition “on hold.” 

“There is no way Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price, especially since realizing it is a company largely based on BOTS of Spam Accounts,” Trump posted. “Fake anyone?”

On Friday morning, Musk shared an article covering Twitter’s quarterly filings, specifically one that focused on Twitter’s estimate that less than 5 percent of Twitter’s users were actually spam bots and fake accounts. Along with the link, Musk stated he was pausing the buyout “pending details” that supported this data.

Musk had previously stated that he was aware of Twitter’s spam problems and one of his planned goals after acquiring Twitter was to try and fix the issue. Trump addressed the spam issue in his comments, too.

“By the time you get rid of them, if that can even be done, what do you have? Not much?” the former president said. 

“If it weren’t for the ridiculous Billion Dollar breakup fee, Elon would have already been long gone,” Trump continued, referencing a stipulation in Twitter’s contract with Musk that requires the billionaire to pay $1 billion if he pulls out of the deal.

Trump’s Truth Social launched in February and was plagued with issues early on involving plummeting traffic, long waitlists to join, and low engagement. The former president himself didn’t even start regularly posting on the site until this month.

Musk recently said one of the users he would reinstate on Twitter would be Trump, himself. However, Trump previously claimed he would not rejoin even if his account was activated once again. The former president says he is exclusively going to use Truth Social. Around that time, Truth Social downloads spiked, possibly proving that Trump is indeed a draw for conservative social media users.

And Trump’s post makes a lot more sense when you consider that context. Popular conservative Twitter users reported receiving a large influx of new followers on the news in April that Musk was going to buy Twitter. Musk’s claims of bringing back banned accounts and loosening Twitter’s content moderation policies proved to be very appealing to the right wing users who’ve been searching for an alternative platform to the social media service. If Musk’s deal does indeed go through and conservatives choose to rejoin Twitter as their social platform of choice, that could pose new problems for Trump’s fledgling social network. 

Trump would need to walk a fine line between sparring with his competition while not offending conservative users who have recently started lionizing Musk. For Trump, Musk backing out would probably be the best-case scenario.