Elon Musk would allow former President Donald Trump to return to Twitter should he wish to appeal his ban, the tech billionaire said Tuesday.
“I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice,” Musk told the Financial Times’ Peter Campbell. Twitter permanently banned Trump in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, claiming that he violated its policies against inciting violence and could further use the platform to do so.
Facebook, YouTube, and several other sites also banned Trump in January 2021. YouTube has also banned other accounts, including those belonging to The Hill and the Heritage Foundation, that it claims allowed Trump to spread false information about the 2020 presidential election.
Musk is currently in the midst of a hostile takeover bid of Twitter. He initially offered $43 billion for the company, but after Twitter’s board declined, he upped his bid to $46.5 billion. Elected Democrats and Twitter employees have publicly and privately expressed concern that Musk would reverse Trump’s ban. For his part, the former president has denied any interest in returning to the social media network. (RELATED: Trump Claims He’s Not Coming Back To Twitter After Sale To Elon Musk)
“He is now going to be on TRUTH Social, as will a large part of the right in the U.S. And so, I think this actually end up frankly worse than a single forum where everyone can debate,” Musk continued. “I guess the answer is I would reverse the permaban, although I don’t actually own Twitter yet, so this is not something that will definitely happen. But my opinion, and Jack Dorsey, I want to be clear, shares this opinion, that we should not have permabans.”
Musk has not yet closed on his Twitter purchase, although he is expected to temporarily serve as the company’s CEO when he does so.