Of course Elon Musk wants to let Trump back on Twitter

Seems bad for Truth Social.

Saul Martinez/Getty Images News/Getty Images

Well, we all knew this was coming. While Elon Musk has danced around the issue about bringing Donald Trump back to Twitter after the former president and insurrectionist cheerleader was banned from the platform, the billionaire finally committed to a very unsurprising answer: Musk fully intends to unban Trump and invite him back to Twitter.

During an appearance at the Future of the Car event hosted by the Financial Times, Musk mused about Twitter’s past decision to permanently suspend Trump, the result of both inciting an insurrection attempt at the Capitol on January 6, 2021 and failing to condemn the rioters after the fact. In Musk’s view, Twitter made the wrong call.

“I think it was a morally bad decision to be clear and foolish in the extreme,” he said, according to Politico. "I do think it was not correct to ban Donald Trump. 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’s whole thing since submitting his yet-to-be-finalized bid to buy Twitter last month has been an insistence that Twitter is a town square and free speech on the platform is essential to the future of our discourse. But his acknowledgment that Trump still has a voice essentially undermines just how important having an active Twitter account is. It also shows a misunderstanding Musk has about banning people: It’s not to silence them, it’s a punishment for breaking the rules.

Musk said a temporary ban would have been appropriate for Trump’s actions in the lead up to the assault on the Capitol, but said the permanent ban was “morally wrong and flat-out stupid,” per The Washington Post.

Of course, Musk’s opinion on the matter might not end up meaning much. For one, it seems like his deal to buy Twitter may be in more peril than expected, with Tesla’s stock price — the primary source of Musk’s purchasing power — in free fall. And then there’s the fact that Trump has sworn he wouldn’t return to Twitter anyway, because he’d rather promote his own platform, Truth Social. Then again, Truth Social seems to be tanking already, Trump barely uses it, and he’s a notorious liar desperate for attention. Odds are he’d return if given the chance.