Trump’s Twitter account resurfaces after Musk poll

Donald Trump’s Twitter account was restored on Saturday after the platform’s new owner, Elon Musk, conducted a poll that found a narrow majority of voters backed the move, days after the former US president received another bid from the white man house had announced.

Trump was banned from the platform early last year for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol by a mob of his supporters who were trying to overturn the results of the 2020 election.

“People have spoken. Trump will be reinstated,” Musk tweeted shortly after the 24-hour poll ended.

“Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” he added, echoing a Latin proverb he published on Friday that means “the voice of the people is the voice of God.”

More than 15 million people – out of 237 million daily Twitter users – voted on whether to restore the controversial profile, with 51.8 percent in favor and 48.2 percent against.

Trump, who had more than 88 million users when his account was suspended, enjoyed using Twitter as a mouthpiece throughout his presidency, posting political announcements, attacking political rivals and communicating with supporters.

Musk’s poll called for a simple “yes” or “no” answer to the “reinstatement of former President Trump” statement released by the billionaire Twitter boss on Friday.

“Fascinating to see the Twitter Trump poll!” Musk mused on a spate of tweets Saturday morning from the controversial and dogged new owner of the one-to-many messaging platform.

He has conducted similar polls in the past, asking his followers last year if he should sell shares in his electric car company Tesla. According to this survey, he sold more than $1 billion in shares.

Trump said on Saturday he would not be returning to the popular platform, but would remain on his own network, Truth Social, which started after he was banned from Twitter.

Appearing via video at a gathering of the Republican Jewish Coalition in Las Vegas, Trump said he welcomed the poll and was a fan of Musk but appeared to deny any return.

“He did a poll and it was very overwhelming…but I have something called…Truth Social.”

As for returning to the platform, he said: “I don’t see it because I don’t see a reason for it.”

Trump hadn’t posted anything to Twitter late Saturday, though he shared a series of unrelated messages on his Truth Social account, including opinion pieces criticizing the US Justice Department’s appointment of a special counsel this week to overshadow his role to investigate in the attack on the Capitol.

But several of his political allies stressed his return.

“Welcome back @realdonaldtrump!” House Republican Paul Gosar tweeted.

Prominent Trump-supporter Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene, whose personal account is also suspended, retweeted several of his earlier posts from her official government account, including some tweets still flagged with fact-checking badges supporting his claims about voter fraud in 2020.

“Anyone who thinks President Trump won’t win the 2024 primary is fooling themselves,” she tweeted.

Anti-Trump Republican Liz Cheney, co-chair of the congressional committee investigating the attack on the Capitol and losing her reelection bid, responded to the news by directing Twitter users to a link to a video of one of the committee’s hearings.

“With Trump back on Twitter it’s a good time to check out this January 6 hearing,” she tweeted.

“It covers every one of Trump’s tweets that day, including those deleted, and includes several Trump WH employees describing his inexcusable behavior during the violence.”

Musk has restored other suspended accounts, including that of comedian Kathy Griffin, which was shut down after she impersonated him on the site.

Musk, also CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, has come under fire for radical changes at Twitter, which he bought for $44 billion less than a month ago.

He has since laid off half of Twitter’s 7,500 employees and scrapped a work-from-home policy, while his attempts to overhaul the company have faced backlash and delays.

Hundreds of employees are quitting instead of giving in to Musk’s demands to put up with long, grueling days at the new Twitter.

Its stumbling attempts to overhaul user verification with a controversial subscription service spawned a slew of fake accounts and pranks, prompting major advertisers to pull away from the platform.

© 2022 AFP

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