One of the biggest stories in the stock world so far in 2022 is the announcement of the acquisition of the social media platform Twitter Inc TWTR by Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk. Did former President Donald Trump play a hand in Musk’s decision?
What Happened: Musk recently announced his intent to purchase Twitter for $54.20 per share and announced a new round of investors Thursday to help facilitate the trade.
The CEO of Truth Social, a social media company launched by Trump Media & Technology Group, told Fox Business that it was Trump and the Truth Social team that encouraged Musk to make a bid for Twitter.
“People like Elon Musk doing what he’s doing, we’re definitely in favor of it,” Truth Social CEO Devin Nunes said.
“That’s why we encouraged Elon Musk to buy it (Twitter), because someone has to continue to take on these tech tyrants.”
Nunes appeared on “Varney & Co” Wednesday to discuss social media platforms including Twitter and Truth Social, which is part of the media group going public via SPAC merger with Digital World Acquisition Corp DWAC.
“Donald Trump wanted to make sure that the American people got their voice back and the internet was open. President Trump, basically before Elon Musk bought it, actually said to go buy it because of the goal of our company is really to build a community where people are in a family-friendly, safe environment.”
Nunes said Truth Social is trying to combine elements of TikTok and Meta Platforms FB-owned Facebook and Instagram.
“The key being we can’t be canceled because we built this without using any Big Tech.”
The comments from Nunes could be a surprise to many, with Trump publicly stating that he has no intention to rejoin Twitter, despite cries from the public for Musk to overturn a permanent ban of the former president on Twitter.
The appearance on Fox Business Wednesday by Nunes could also be surprising after the recent controversy that Truth Social claimed to be posting an official news feeds from Fox News, a unit of Fox Corp FOX. A Fox News spokesperson denied having an account on Truth Social.
“Great to have RSS feed for @FoxNews now LIVE here on Truth!” Nunes previously shared.
Musk Responds: Musk responded to a New York Post article that summarized Nunes’ interview on Fox Business.
“This is false. I’ve had no communication, directly or indirectly, with Trump, who has publicly stated that he will be exclusively on Truth Social,” Musk tweeted.
Musk putting a focus on free speech and the potential to bring Trump and other banned accounts back to the platform was seen as a negative for Truth Social and sent shares of Digital World Acquisition down.
Several who previously left Twitter have returned and other prominent people who could be in the key Truth Social demographic saw a rise in their followers on Twitter after Musk’s purchase.
Musk has been critical of Truth Social in the last month, poking fun at the app’s name and highlighting that it had more downloads than Twitter.
“Truth Social (terrible name) exists because Twitter censored free speech. Should be called Trumpet instead!” Musk tweeted.
The comments from Nunes come as a surprise with recent criticism he made of Twitter.
“Elon Musk’s gonna have a lot of work to do over there,” Nunes previously said on Fox Business program “Mornings With Maria. “Twitter is kind of a ghost town, they desperately need Elon Musk to be there.”
Nunes highlighted that interactions on Truth Social were already beating Twitter.
Twitter ended the recent quarter with 217 million monetizable daily active users. A Sensor Tower strategist estimated that Truth Social had around 1.2 million installs since its launch.
DWAC Price Action: Digital World Acquisition shares are up 5.35% Friday afternoon to $47.86, according to Benzinga Pro.
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