Elon Musk said he will reverse Twitter's permanent ban of former President Donald Trump should the Tesla CEO conclude his deal to acquire the social media company for $44 billion.
Musk, speaking virtually at a Future of the Car summit hosted by The Financial Times, said Twitter's Trump ban was a "morally bad decision" and "foolish in the extreme."
He said permanent bans of Twitter accounts should be rare and reserved for accounts that are scams or automated bots.
"I think that was a mistake because it alienated a large part of the country and did not ultimately result in Donald Trump not having a voice," Musk said.
"So, I think this may end up being frankly worse than having a single forum where everyone can debate," Musk said, adding, "I guess the answer is that I would reverse the permanent ban."
Musk added that his distaste for permanent bans is shared by Twitter co-founder and former CEO Jack Dorsey, who voiced his agreement in a Tuesday tweet.
Shares of Twitter dropped 1.5% Tuesday to $47.24 per share.
It's been nearly a month since Musk on April 14 announced an offer to buy Twitter for $54.20 per share.
The low trading price was seen as reflecting Wall Street concerns that the deal could still fall through.
Musk has repeatedly criticized Twitter's content moderation decisions, including the Trump ban, but had mostly avoided saying what he would do about Trump's account until he was pressed for more details Tuesday by Peter Campbell, a Financial Times automotive correspondent.
Twitter banned Trump's account in January 2021 for "incitement of violence" following the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol.
Trump has previously said that he had no intention of rejoining Twitter even if his account was reinstated, telling Fox News last month that he would instead focus on his own platform, Truth Social, which has been mired in problems since its launch earlier this year.
A Trump spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment in response to Musk's remarks.
© 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. © 2022 Religion News Service. All rights reserved.
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