Elon Musk said on Tuesday that he would reverse Twitter’s ban on former President Donald Trump if he becomes the social media giant’s owner.
The Tesla CEO said he believes Twitter made a mistake in banning the Republican, who routinely used the website to enable hate, encourage violence and push lies.
“I think it was a morally bad decision to be clear and foolish in the extreme,” Musk said at a Financial Times event, adding that the ban “alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
Twitter banned Trump amid the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection, citing the risk of further violence. Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat also banned him.
“I would reverse the permanent ban,” Musk said. “I don’t own Twitter yet. So this is not like a thing that will definitely happen, because what if I don’t own Twitter?”
Musk is in the process of buying Twitter for $44 billion, although the acquisition has not yet gone through. The billionaire has said he wants to make the website a platform for free speech, which has raised questions about whether he would allow extremists — and Trump — to voice hate unfettered.
Trump told Fox News last month that even if Musk took over Twitter, the former president would not return to the site. He said he instead plans to stick with the sinking social media company he founded, Truth Social, which he has so far only used twice.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on Truth,” Trump told the outlet, adding that he believes Musk is a “good man” and will probably improve Twitter. The former president has a history of lies, however, so it’s unclear whether he will actually stay off the site should Musk become its new owner.