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Republicans ask Elon Musk to reinstate Trump’s Twitter account after Tesla founder becomes largest shareholder

Former Treasury official says Musk ‘should demand the end of political censorship, company-wide reform, and the reinstatement of President Trump’

Gustaf Kilander
Tuesday 05 April 2022 15:26 BST
Elon Musk Becomes Twitter’s Biggest Shareholder With $2.9 Billion Stock Purchase
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Republicans are asking Elon Musk to reinstate former President Donald Trump’s Twitter account after the Tesla founder became the largest shareholder in the social media platform.

“Will the new majority shareholder return freedom of speech to Twitter?” Georgia Republican Marjorie Taylor Greene asked. “It will require courage [because] the regime is heavily investing in a certain industry and threats will undoubtedly come. Yet the freedom of speech restored will enable us all to defeat them.”

The price of Twitter shares soared 25 per cent after Mr Musk bought a 9.2 per cent stake in the company, becoming the largest shareholder, but not holding a majority of shares.

According to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing published on Monday, Mr Musk owns 73,486,938 Twitter shares. Based on the company’s closing price on Friday, the stake is worth $2.89bn, CNBC reported.

Mr Musk, who has more than 80 million Twitter followers, made the purchase just weeks after slamming the company for not adhering to the principles of free speech.

“Now that @ElonMusk is Twitter’s largest shareholder, it’s time to lift the political censorship,” Colorado Republican Representative Lauren Boebert tweeted. “Oh… and bring back Trump!”

Former President Donald Trump was banned from the platform following the Capitol riot on 6 January 2021. He launched the new social media platform Truth Social earlier this year.

The former assistant secretary of public affairs at the Treasury Department during the Trump administration, Monica Crowley, tweeted: “Now that @elonmusk is Twitter’s largest shareholder, he should demand the end of political censorship, company-wide reform, and the reinstatement of President Trump.”

Errol Webber is a Republican congressional candidate in California. He wrote that Mr Musk “is now the largest shareholder of Twitter. Time to get this platform back to its former glory. Step one - bring back President Trump! Step two - give everyone who has been banned a second chance. Step three - end all forms of political and other censorship.”

Ned Ryun, a conservative activist, added: “Fascinating. Would be epic if Musk forced Twitter to let Trump back on, although to be honest, Trump might not want to. Would dilute his value and power with Truth Social.”

Mr Trump has attempted to encourage those who followed him on Twitter to join Truth Social but the new platform has been riddled with problems and was recently mocked for its spiralling downloads just weeks after launching.

When it launched in February, users said the signing up process wasn’t functioning and that they were stuck in queues with hundreds of thousands of other people ahead of them.

Two Truth Social executives quit following the difficult start for the platform, Reuters reported on Monday.

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