Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a rally to boost Ohio Republican candidates ahead of their May 3 primary election, at the county fairgrounds in Delaware, Ohio, U.S. April 23, 2022.
Gaelen Morse | Reuters
“No, I won’t be going back on Twitter,” Trump told CNBC’s Joe Kernen.
“I will be on Truth Social within the week. Its on schedule. We have a lot of people signed up. I like Elon Musk. I like him a lot. He’s an excellent individual. We did a lot for Twitter when I was in the White House. I was disappointed by the way I was treated by Twitter. I won’t be going back on Twitter,” he said.
Twitter permanently suspended Trump from the platform in January 2021 following the attack by his supporters on the U.S. Capitol. The company said it made the decision after the Jan. 6 riot “due to the risk of further incitement of violence.” Trump had more than 80 million followers on the platform.
Questions over whether Trump would be allowed back on Twitter arose after Musk announced he was interested in acquiring the company in part to make it a platform for free speech.
“It’s just really important that people have the, both the reality and the perception that they are able to speak freely within the bounds of the law,” Musk said during a recent TED interview. Musk added he is not a fan of permanent bans, favoring suspensions. The CEO of both Tesla and SpaceX has often used Twitter to crack jokes and promote his business interests, from his companies to cryptocurrencies he’s eyeing.
Trump has posted just once on Truth Social, which has been billed as a free speech alternative to Big Tech platforms. It falls under the former president’s Trump Media & Technology Group, which is poised to merge with Digital World Acquisition Corp. Shares in the stock plunged nearly 13% on Monday after Twitter announced it accepted Musk’s offer to take the company private.