White House press secretary Jen Psaki responded to Elon Musk’s multibillion dollar purchase of Twitter at Monday’s press briefing.
A reporter asked whether the White House had a response about Musk’s purchase and whether the administration has any concern that former President Donald Trump will be permitted back onto the platform after being permanently banned in January 2021.
“I’m not gonna comment on a specific transaction. What I can tell you as a general matter, 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, has long argued that tech platforms must be held accountable for the harms they cause,” Psaki said.
“He’s been a strong supporter of fundamental reforms to achieve that goal, including reforms to Section 230, enacting antitrust reforms, requiring more transparency. And he’s encouraged that there’s bipartisan interest in Congress,” she added. “In terms of what hypothetical policies might happen, I’m just not going to speak to that at this point in time.”
Twitter’s board agreed to Musk’s over $40 billion dollar offer to entirely purchase Twitter. He has vowed to make the company private to protect free speech on the platform. The board reportedly considered Musk’s offer after he secured financing and released details of his plans. (RELATED: ‘Flag-Bearer Of Free Speech’: Piers Morgan Says Musk’s Twitter Takeover Will Fight The ‘Woke Virus’)
The board previously attempted to deploy the “poison pill” defense strategy, which would have allowed shareholders to purchase additional shares at a cheaper price to prevent the Tesla CEO from taking over the social media company. Musk became the largest shareholder in early April after purchasing 9.2% stake in the platform.
“Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement Monday. “I also want to make Twitter better than ever by enhancing the product with new features, making the algorithms open source to increase trust, defeating the spam bots, and authenticating all humans.”
“Twitter has tremendous potential – I look forward to working with the company and the community of users to unlock it,” he added.
Musk secured some $25 billion in financing via investment bank Morgan Stanley and other lenders and borrowing against his stake in Tesla, as well as paid $21 billion of his own cash to purchase the company, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Trump claimed Monday that he will not return to Twitter after Musk’s takeover, but rather will stick to his own social media platform, TRUTH Social.
“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 told Fox News. “Twitter has bots and fake accounts, and we are doing everything we can. The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter.”