OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Elon Musk had encouragement from some big names as his takeover of Twitter went from talk to reality.
Among those who encouraged him behind the scenes were former Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, investor Peter Thiel, entrepreneur David Sacks and other libertarian leaning big wigs, The Wall Street Journal reported.
“He was tweeting an average of nine times a day in 2020 when former Twitter executives say they became aware of his budding friendship with then-CEO Mr. Dorsey,” The Journal said.
While Mr. Dorsey was on stage at a Twitter all-hands event in Houston in early 2020, he called Mr. Musk on FaceTime. Mr. Dorsey plugged his iPad into the stage’s jumbo screen, and employees cheered as Mr. Musk’s face lighted up the room.
Mr. Dorsey asked Mr. Musk to choose a single tweet to represent himself.
“I put the art in fart,” replied Mr. Musk, then 48 years old.
The two billionaires occasionally replied to each other on Twitter, and often traded private messages. One former Twitter executive said Mr. Dorsey would sometimes appear to space out in meetings because he was messaging Mr. Musk during the workday.
The two men’s shared interests, the former executives said, included exploring whether Twitter could be run more effectively as a private company, as it had been for its first seven years, after Mr. Dorsey launched it with several co-founders. Messrs. Dorsey and Musk were focused primarily on Twitter’s role as a potential public good, rather than a business focused on short-term profits.
After his exit, Mr. Dorsey turned openly critical of the company and its board of directors, many of whom he put in their roles.
But then came the suspension of former President Donald Trump, which Dorsey was originally against but eventually ceded was necessary under Twitter’s rules. But Musk never came around to thinking it was fair.
“He vehemently disagrees with censoring. Especially for a sitting president. Insane,” Jared Birchall, who serves as the head of the Musk’s personal investment office, said in a text message to an associate.
“People who have spoken to him and his team recently say Mr. Musk remains dismayed that former President Donald Trump is still barred from the platform,” The Journal said.
For his part, the former president has, so far, said he does not plan to return to the platform, but is pleased that Musk’s bid was successful.
During an interview with Fox News, Trump made it clear he doesn’t plan on returning to Twitter and instead plans to use his own TRUTH Social as the sole platform for his voice.
The 45th president told Fox News that he will formally join his own TRUTH Social over the next week.
“I am not going on Twitter, I am going to stay on TRUTH,” Trump said. “I hope Elon buys Twitter because he’ll make improvements to it and he is a good man, but I am going to be staying on TRUTH.”
“We’re taking in millions of people, and what we’re finding is that the response on TRUTH is much better than being on Twitter,” Trump said. “Twitter has bots and fake accounts, and we are doing everything we can.”
He added: “The bottom line is, no, I am not going back to Twitter.”
When asked if Musk taking over Twitter could be competition to TRUTH, Trump said he believes it will be good overall for social media.
“I think it is good. We want liberty and justice and fairness in our country, and the more we can have open, the better,” Trump said. “But no, I don’t view that as a competition for what I am doing.”
“This is a platform for my voice. TRUTH is a platform for my voice and for my supporters,” Trump said. “But I want everybody to come over to TRUTH—conservatives, liberals, whatever.”
Trump said Twitter “became very boring because conservatives were thrown off or got off the platform when I left.”
“It became boring because there was no interaction,” Trump said. “The interaction on TRUTH has been amazing.”
He added: “We want everybody.”
“TRUTH Social will be a voice for me,” Trump continued. “And that’s something nobody else can get.”