Biden officials worry Trump will return to platform

White House officials and Democratic strategists are worried about Elon Musk’s ways $44 billion hostile takeover of Twitter will affect the 2024 presidential election – especially whether the billionaire will allow the former President Donald Trump to return to the platform.

Officials in the President Joe Biden’s According to more than half a dozen Biden advisers, the administration is closely monitoring the deal, including two administration officials. Some on Biden’s team are growing increasingly concerned that the Tesla CEO will allow Trump and other Republicans who have been banned on Twitter to return to the platform, the people said, requesting anonymity to speak. comfortable conversation about internal discussions among senior advisers to the Democratic Party. .

‘s Twitter The board of directors accepted Musk’s offer to become a private social media company, the company confirmed on Monday. This agreement is subject to shareholder and regulatory approval.

“Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of a working democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where issues important to the future of humanity are debated,” Musk said in a statement. announced in the press release announcing the agreement.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment on Musk’s bid. Biden “has long been concerned about the power of the major social media platforms” and advocates “enacting antitrust reforms that require more transparency,” Psaki said at a news conference on Wednesday. Two.

These people said members of Biden’s internal team and party strategists are concerned about the rise of misinformation on the platform under Musk’s leadership and ahead of the presidential election next year. 2024, which could pit Biden against the former president in a rematch. Former President Barack Obama is among Biden’s allies privately concerned that Musk’s acquisition of Twitter could lead to Trump’s return to the platform, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Mary Anne Marsh, a veteran Democratic strategist, told CNBC: “Now, Trump will use Twitter to much more damage to regain power in 2022 and 2024 while Elon Musk does not. give any indication that he will do anything to stop him.”

A strategist close to some of the Party’s biggest donors in Silicon Valley said “that’s not good” for the Democrats.

“He’s a great engineer and businessman but I wouldn’t trust him as much as my daughter let alone the millions who rely on Twitter for information,” the strategist said of Musk. Democrats could be on the verge of losing both the House and Senate in the upcoming 2022 midterm congressional elections.

Press representatives for Twitter, the White House, Trump and Obama did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Musk did not respond to an email from CNBC regarding this matter.

Trump and those close to him have continued to falsely claim that the 2020 election was stolen, despite officials from both sides of the political aisle, including his former attorney general. Trump, Bill Barr, notes that widespread voter fraud doesn’t exist and Biden won the last election fairly.

Twitter Permanently banned Trump, who has more than 88 million followers, from the disinformation platform is credited with inciting the January 6, 2021 riots on Capitol Hill. Trump allies, including veteran strategist Roger Stone, pro-Trump attorneys Lin Wood and Sidney Powell, and former national security adviser Michael Flynn have also served. forbidden.

Wood, who has speak Speaking to CNBC in a text message, his properties in South Carolina are a meeting point for those aiming to topple the 2020 election, telling CNBC in a text message that he will rejoin Twitter. if Trump comes back. “I would only rejoin if President Trump re-engaged, which I think is highly unlikely,” Wood said.

Powell, who has promoted numerous false election conspiracies, told CNBC in an email that she would consider switching to Twitter’s reinstatement if the deal with Musk comes to an end.

“I would consider going back, and I’m happy that someone who cares about freedom of speech is interested in reclaiming Twitter in the name of truth and freedom,” Powell said Monday after Twitter posted the news. official announcement.

Musk has hinted that if he owned Twitter, the company would have less content censorship. “I think it’s very important to have a comprehensive arena for freedom of speech,” Musk said in a recent TED interview. “Twitter has become a kind of de facto town square, so it’s really important that people have, both in fact and in their perception, that they can speak freely within the bounds of the law. ” Musk tweeted a similar stance on Monday, saying, “I hope that even my worst critics remain on Twitter, because that’s what free speech means.”

Trump has said he won’t rejoin Twitter if Musk completes the purchase, but people close to him say they still expect the former president to move out for his account to be refunded. Alyssa Farah, who worked in the Trump administration, said in a tweet that she believes Trump won’t be able to resist going back to Twitter. “From a free speech perspective, I don’t see you how to keep him off Twitter,” she said.

One of those trying to convince Trump to come back on Twitter said his allies were encouraging the former president to invite Musk to Mar-a-Lago, his private club in Florida, if Musk could complete it. all agreements.

Trump has launched his own social networking startup, Truth Social, but it is said to be facing many obstacles, including the chief executive officer. start and decline application registration.

Musk had a close relationship with Trump while he was president, sitting on two of the president’s advisory boards before stepping down as the US pulled outside of the Paris climate accord. Trump then told CNBC that he considers Musk to be one of the “great geniuses” of the world.

Musk has repeatedly criticized Biden for not admitting it Tesla’s as a leader in the electric vehicle industry.

“Biden has frankly ignored Tesla every now and then,” Musk previously speak CNBC. The Wall Street Journal reported earlier this year that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating whether Musk and his brother, Kimball, violated insider trading rules.

Republican strategists think Musk’s purchase of Twitter could have a major impact on their party in 2024. Mike Caputo, a longtime GOP adviser close to Trump, told CNBC that a potential acquisition Musk’s ability to be a “game changer” for the Republican Party.

Another strategist, who asked not to be named, said Republican lawmakers and advisers were “gaming” about Musk’s potential Twitter purchase, believing many of their views were censored by Twitter.

“Republicans have despised Twitter for a long time. The day of reckoning has come,” the strategist said.

A group of 18 Republicans in the House of Representatives are asking Twitter’s board to protect them all File related to MuskThe proposed buyout of the company sets up a potential Congressional inquiry if the party regains its majority this fall.

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