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Report: Trump Asked Musk to Purchase Truth Social Site Last Summer

Musk and Trump also met earlier this month in Palm Beach, Florida, with a group of Republican donors.

Trump advisor Steve Bannon (left) watches as then-President Donald Trump greets Elon Musk, SpaceX and Tesla CEO, before a policy and strategy forum with executives in the State Dining Room of the White House on February 3, 2017, in Washington, D.C.

Last year, former President Donald Trump reportedly attempted to sell his social media website, Truth Social, to Elon Musk, the world’s second-richest person and the current owner of X, the site formerly known as Twitter.

Trump made the proposal to Musk in the summer of 2023, according to a report from The Washington Post, which cited two sources with knowledge of their meeting.

The idea appeared to have been Trump’s. Although no deal was made on the website, the reporting reveals that the two have communicated much more than was previously known, particularly on business matters but potentially on issues relating to politics as well.

Beyond the proposed sale of Truth Social, Musk and Trump met earlier this month in Palm Beach, Florida. The details of that meeting are murky, but there is some speculation that it involved the 2024 presidential election in some way, as well-known Republican donors also took part.

Unsubstantiated rumors on X suggesting that Musk was going to endorse or donate to Trump’s campaign soon spread, resulting in Musk posting on the site that he was not planning to donate to either of the major parties’ candidates for president.

Truth Social has faced problems since its inception. Originally billed as a supposed bastion of free speech, the far right, MAGA-friendly social media site has been mired in a number of controversies, including at one point banning accounts simply for being critical of Trump.

Financially, the site has arguably fared even worse. In more recent reports on its performance, Truth Social announced that it lost tens of millions of dollars in the first nine months of 2023 alone.

Meanwhile, according to Buffer, a site that measures social media analytics, Truth Social doesn’t rank at all on its list of the top 23 social media sites. The only thing keeping the site relevant appears to be the fact that Trump uses it as his primary social media.

Although X is doing far better, Musk seems to be hampering the platform rather than improving it. In the fall of 2022, Musk purchased the site, then known as Twitter, for $44 billion (with the help of wealthy backers, including Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Al Saud), after spending several months criticizing its rules on banning dangerous and false content. After buying the platform, Musk restored several far right accounts, including that of conspiracy theorist Alex Jones. Musk himself has also disseminated antisemitic content on the site. Despite Musk claiming to be a supporter of absolute free speech, the platform frequently suspends accounts critical of him.

As a result of Musks’ leadership, X has seen its values go down significantly, with a report in January 2024 finding that the site’s worth has dropped by 71.5 percent since Musk took over.

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