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Trump fans are clamoring for him to return to Twitter now that Elon Musk has lifted the company’s ban on the former president, but The Donald has already indicated he has no intention of resuming tweeting again. “I don’t see any reason for it,” he said via video when asked about a possible return.
But Elon Musk clearly wants him back:
And lead us not into temptation … pic.twitter.com/8qNOXzwXS9
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 21, 2022
The problem is, Trump has reasons for not returning to the fold—potentially millions of them.
At issue is the social media site Truth Social, the privately held property of Trump Media & Technology Group which is owned by the 45th president. Trump created the app after being banned from most social media, including Facebook and Twitter, but he had to make some deals to get the platform off the ground. According to the NY Post:
TMTG is locked into an agreement with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC), which was created to take Trump’s company public.
If Trump’s company were to go public only for him to devalue Truth Social by resuming his Twitter activities — and thus giving his tens of millions of followers a reason to abandon the fledgling social media platform and return to Musk’s outfit — shareholders could sue him, a legal expert told Semafor.
Radio host Clay Travis doesn’t think that will stop him:
Two things about this: 1. Will he come back? I think the answer is yes. 2. Will it help his campaign? I think the answer is unclear. Joe Biden is president. 2024 should be a referendum on his leadership. But Trump with Twitter often makes himself the story.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) November 20, 2022
Complicating things is Trump’s agreement that states he “is generally obligated to make any social media post on Truth Social and may not make the same post on another social media site for 6 hours.”
“If it’s going to look, later on, that he never had that intention [of remaining off Twitter] but he just wanted to convince people that they should go ahead and close [the SPAC deal] that’s kind of a textbook securities fraud lawsuit,” Columbia Law School professor Eric Talley told Semafor.
Part of the value of Trump’s tweets was the immediacy and novelty they provided. A six-hour delay would make his musings much less interesting; if he said anything newsworthy we’d have read about it on news outlets before it ever hit Twitter. Another issue is that Truth Social operates in America only, and Trump would not be reaching a global audience like he would at the Blue Bird.
Trump claims the reason he’s not returning is that he’s concerned about the future of the company.
“I hear we’re getting a big vote to also go back on Twitter. I don’t see it because I don’t see any reason for it,” Trump said.
“It may make it, it may not make it,” he added, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal upheavals.
Another factor is that if trump caved and started tweeting again, many would interpret that as a tacit admission that Truth Social is a failure. Trump is many things, but he’s certainly not prone to admitting failure.
As of this writing, Trump has 87.6 million followers on Twitter, while he has 4.62 million on Truth Social.
One possible outcome: The Donald, co-author of the book “Trump: The Art of the Deal,” works his deal-making magic and finds a way to tweet without getting smacked financially.
Donald Trump was the best thing about Twitter, and I for one would love to see him back. Elon Musk is now the king of the hot takes on the platform these days, but it’d be great to watch them both dropping their truth-bombs every day.