Although Twitter has not said whether they will accept the offer, a number of Republican lawmakers quickly approved Musk’s bid. And while Trump has previously said he would not join Twitter again, a former adviser said Trump would jump at the chance to come back.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) Told POLITICO that Musk “could take the company in a far better direction” for those he claimed has been “unfairly silenced or censored by Twitter’s attacks on conservative free speech and ideas it does not like. . “
Other GOP legislators took to the platform itself – Twitter – to praise Musk’s free-flowing content moderation philosophies and exhort his critics.
Dens. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) tweeted out: “Twitter censors freak out over Elon Musk because they can not buy his silence. It’s clear that big technology can not handle people with a different point of view. “
Conservative fiery soul Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) told Fox Business – and then shared as a video clip on Twitter – “let’s hope this goes through and we have freedom of speech on Twitter again.”
Twitter has not given any indication as to whether they accept the offer. The company acknowledged that it received an “unsolicited, non-binding offer” from Musk for $ 54.20 per share in cash. The Board of Directors will review and act in the “best interests of the company and all Twitter shareholders.”
Musk himself even indicated some doubts. “I’m not sure I’ll actually be able to acquire it,” he said.
For years, many Republicans have argued that social media platforms disproportionately stifle conservative speech, even though the top platforms dispute these claims, and research finds that conservative content is some of the most prevalent on the platforms. When Twitter permanently banned Trump after the January 6 attack on the Capitol for violating its policy of inciting violence, it excited many conservatives even more.
Under former CEO Jack Dorsey and current CEO Parag Agrawal, the company said it was committed to keeping this ban in place. Musk has a completely different tone.
“Timeouts I think are better than permanent bans,” Musk told the TED audience on Thursday.
Trump has struggled to find a replacement for Twitter and Facebook, where he has been suspended for two years. The alternative he launched – Truth Social – has largely failed to attract his base to join.
Before the news came about Musk’s bid to buy Twitter, Trump himself said he “probably would have no interest” in joining the platform again. “Twitter has become very boring. They have gotten rid of many of their good voices on Twitter – many of their conservative voices,” Trump added in an interview with Americano Media on Wednesday.
But a former Trump adviser said the former president would return to Twitter if allowed, “with a heartbeat.”
“Twitter was his megaphone, and Twitter was his way of controlling the press, and it was his way of conveying information and pin opponents, and it was a way for him to get in touch with his base,” said the person, who was given anonymity for speaking freely about the former president.
Trump’s business partners were less enthusiastic. Truth Social’s CEO, former California Congressman Devin Nunes, told Fox News on Wednesday that he can not see why Musk would want to own Twitter.
“I do not understand why you want to invest so much money unless you have a bigger plan for it,” Nunes said. “Compared to what we do at Truth, we build a community. We are not a place for celebrity press releases.”
Still, Jason Miller, another former Trump adviser and current CEO of GETTR – another conservative social media site – embraced the possibility of a Musk takeover as a welcome shake-up for Twitter.
“Musk has made it clear that in order to be saved, Twitter needs a wholesale demolition of the fund, its management must be removed, and the politically discriminatory ideologues who run day-to-day operations must be replaced,” Miller said in a statement.
Musk’s acquisition is subject to approval by Twitter’s board of directors, and it remains unclear how he specifically plans to fund his acquisition of the company. Although Musk’s fortune far exceeds his $ 43 billion valuation of Twitter, he has to liquidate assets like his Tesla stock to pay for it on his own.
Musk has said that if his bid is accepted, he will take the company privately. Late Thursday, he tweeted to his more than 81 million followers that the decision on whether or not he wants to sell should be up to the Twitter shareholders, not the board. To achieve this, his takeover bid should have been structured differently. Board members have special obligations to the company and to shareholders when deciding whether to approve a sale.
Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky (Ill.), Chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Consumer Protection Panel, argued that Twitter should be accountable to its users – not just its shareholders.
“Shepherding a social media platform is a big responsibility. We want to hold everyone who accepts that responsibility accountable to the American people, including Elon Musk,” she said.
She noted that Twitter has spent years developing rules for content moderation. “While my hope would be that they would enforce these terms better, I do not see these users responding well if they suddenly, dramatically change,” she said.
The offer – and Musk’s tweets about it – once again puts the spotlight on him with the SEC, which is struggling with whether he came across the SEC rules, while recently acquiring a significant stake in Twitter’s shares. He was late in filing his purchases and first submitted the wrong form, according to experts.
Musk too tweeted Thursday about retaining so many shareholders on privatized Twitter “as permitted by law.” He has previously gotten into trouble with the SEC for tweets about taking Tesla private.
Currently, back and forth between Musk and Twitter is becoming its own side show.
Tesla’s CEO became the largest shareholder in Twitter – and bought almost 10 percent of the company’s shares – in March following an invitation from Agrawal to join the board on April 5th. But it fell apart on April 10, when Agrawal tweeted that Musk would not join the board, saying “there will be distractions ahead, but our goals and priorities remain unchanged.” Next came Musk’s offer to buy the platform out.
Evan Greer, director of the non-profit organization Fight for the Future for Digital Rights, called Musk “an epic and talented distraction” from a major problem: that few companies control most of the world’s social media platforms.
“There’s too much concentration, and we need a world where social media is not structured in a way where one person can have a huge impact on people’s ability to express themselves – or not – in this space.”
Victoria Guida contributed to this report.