Billionaire Elon Musk hasn’t shied from the subject of former President Donald Trump, even offering an unsolicited suggestion for renaming Truth Social. However, as the entrepreneur’s effort to acquire Twitter potentially nears a conclusion, he revisited that name with far-less friendly tones.
Having referred to himself in the past as a “free speech absolutist,” Musk’s adherence to that principle drew heavy criticism recently with his proposal for a means by which Russia and Ukraine could negotiate a peaceful outcome to end the conflict now more than seven months running. While speaking with the Financial Times, he seemed to suggest that no such dialogue could occur on Trump’s Truth Social because it’s a partisan platform.
“It is essentially a rightwing echo chamber,” Musk told the Financial Times’ Roula Khalaf. “It might as well be called Trumpet.”
This weekend we have a lunch with the FT (Gove) and a dinner with the FT. Here’s my dinner with Musk – and yes I was entertained
— roula khalaf (@khalafroula) October 8, 2022
The would-be private owner of Twitter had previously used that name in a more positive connotation when, just days after the social media company seemed poised to accept the initial $44 billion offer, the president-founded competitor was leading charts for free apps on the Apple Store.
“Truth Social is currently beating Twitter & TikTok on the Apple Store,” Musk captioned a screenshot of the leaderboard. “Truth Social (terrible name) exists because Twitter censored free speech. Should be called Trumpet instead!”
Truth Social is currently beating Twitter & TikTok on the Apple Store pic.twitter.com/RxawVUAYKH
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 27, 2022
Should be called Trumpet instead!
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) April 27, 2022
Despite the apparent competitive jawing from Musk, the businessman has insisted that his intentions are not financially motivated, but rather, like a true entrepreneur, that his objective is for the best ideas to be challenged in an iron-sharpens-iron manner.
“I’m not doing Twitter for the money,” he told Khalaf. “It’s not like I’m trying to buy some yacht and I can’t afford it. I don’t own any boats. But I think it’s important that people have a maximally trusted and inclusive means of exchanging ideas and that it should be as trusted and transparent as possible.”
As to any bad blood between the two billionaires, Musk seemed dispassionate in referencing Trump in July after the Tesla CEO had contended his vote for Rep. Mayra Flores (R-Texas) during a special election had been his first time voting Republican.
The president had been speaking at a rally in Alaska when he said, “Elon is not going to buy Twitter. Where did you hear that before? From me,” before going on to say that Musk had voted for him and that he was a “bullsh*t artist.”
Musk responds to Trump without hate, urges him to hang up his hat, make room for younger DeSantis https://t.co/6lJK0NxdU8
— American Wire News (@americanwire_) July 12, 2022
In response, Musk tweeted, “I don’t hate the man, but it’s time for Trump to hang up his hat & said into the sunset. Dems should also call off the attack–don’t make it so that Trump’s only way to survive is to regain the Presidency,” then going on to opine, “Do we really want a bull in a china shop situation every single day!? Also, I think the legal maximum age for start of Presidential term should be 69.”
Musk has expressed interest in Trump’s return to Twitter stating in May, “I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump,” who had been removed from the platform shortly after the Capitol was breached on Jan. 6, 2021. “I think that was a mistake. It alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice.”
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