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Elon Musk denies claim Trump encouraged him to purchase Twitter

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Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, speaks to media representatives on the Tesla Gigafactory construction site In Grünheide near Berlin, September 3, 2020.

Julian Stähle | picture alliance via Getty Images

Elon Musk on Friday flatly denied a claim by the top of ex-President Donald Trump’s latest social media company that Trump had encouraged Musk’s bid to purchase Twitter.

“This is fake,” Musk tweeted in reply to a Recent York Post article about that claim by Trump Media & Technology Group CEO Devin Nunes.

“I’ve had no communication, directly or not directly, with Trump, who has publicly stated that he will likely be exclusively on Truth Social,” wrote Musk, head of Tesla and SpaceX.

Nunes, during a televised appearance Wednesday on Fox Business, said that Trump’s social media app, Truth Social, was “all for” Musk’s move to purchase Twitter and take it private with a $44 billion offer — a somewhat eyebrow-raising claim since Twitter is a competitor to Truth Social.

“President Trump, mainly before Elon Musk bought it, actually said to go and buy it because the goal of our company is basically to construct a community where individuals are in a family friendly, secure environment,” said Nunes, a former Republican congressman from California, throughout the appearance.

Twitter banned Trump, who had been an obsessive user of the platform, in January 2021 for what the corporate said was the “risk of further incitement of violence.”

The ban followed the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot by a mob of Trump supporters who disrupted the certification of President Joe Biden’s election.

Trump announced plans to launch Truth Social as a competitor to Twitter last fall, and said his social media company would grow to be publicly traded through a take care of the so-called blank-check company Digital World Acquisition.

On April 25, Twitter accepted Musk’s offer to purchase the corporate, which is contingent on approval from shareholders and regulators.

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Nunes, during his interview on Fox Business, suggested that Trump’s purported urging of Musk to purchase Twitter dovetailed with the mission of Truth Social.

“That is why we encouraged Elon Musk to purchase it, because someone has to proceed to tackle these tech tyrants,” Nunes said. “Donald Trump desired to make sure that that the American people got their voice back and that the web was open and that is what we’re doing.”

“And so people like Elon Musk doing what he’s doing, we’re definitely in favor of it,” Nunes said.

In late April, Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen that he wouldn’t return to Twitter even when Musk took over and reversed the ban on him.

“No, I won’t be going back on Twitter,” said Trump, who had nearly 90 million followers on the platform before the ban.

“I will likely be on Truth Social throughout the week. It’s on schedule. We have now lots of people signed up,” he said.

“I like Elon Musk. I like him so much. He’s a wonderful individual. We did so much for Twitter once I was within the White House. I used to be disillusioned by the best way I used to be treated by Twitter. I won’t be going back on Twitter,” Trump said.

Statistics show that Trump, who as president had averaged upward of eight tweets per day within the last half of 2017 and the primary half of 2018, steadily increased that average in the next years. He ended up with a median of 34 tweets per day in his last half 12 months in office, before being banned.

On Truth Social, Trump as of Friday had posted a so-called Truth or “ReTruthed” one other user’s post lower than 30 times combined over the past two months. Nearly all of those posts had been made previously week.

Correction: Devin Nunes is CEO of Trump Media & Technology Group. An earlier version misstated the corporate name.

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