Elon Musk has resurrected Donald Trump’s Twitter account after asking people if the US President should be allowed to return to the network, breaking a vow not to unban accounts until a “moderation council” is established.
The decision overturns a restriction that has kept the former president off the social media platform since a pro-Trump mob invaded the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, as Congress was about to confirm Joe Biden’s electoral triumph.
Mr Musk made the announcement in the early hours of Sunday morning, following a poll in which Twitter users were asked to vote “yes” or “no” on whether Mr Trump’s account should be restored.
“The people have spoken. Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei,” Mr Musk tweeted, using a Latin phrase meaning “the voice of the people, the voice of God”.
Mr Trump’s account has since been reactivated, though it is not clear whether Mr Trump will return, given millions have been poured into his right-wing Twitter rival, Truth Social.
An irrepressible tweeter before he was banned, the former president has said in the past that he would not rejoin the social media platform even if his account was reinstated.
Shortly after Mr Musk’s announcement on Twitter, the former president’s account reappeared on the social media platform.
While it still had over 1.2 million followers, it was not following any other users.
Mr Trump’s last tweet was posted on January 9 2021, reading: “To all of those who have asked, I will not be going to the Inauguration on January 20th.”
Reinstate former President Trump
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) November 19, 2022
All of his former tweets also reappeared when the account was reinstated – more than 59,000 of them.
When he acquired Twitter, Mr Musk promised that “no major content decisions or account reinstatements will happen” before a moderation council featuring “widely diverse viewpoints” is convened – but the decision on Mr Trump’s account and several others appears to have been made by a poll.
Earlier in the evening while addressing a Republican Jewish group meeting in Las Vegas, Mr Trump said that he was aware of Mr Musk’s poll but that he saw “a lot of problems at Twitter”.
“I hear we’re getting a big vote to also go back on Twitter. I don’t see it because I don’t see any reason for it,” the former president was quoted as saying.
“It may make it, it may not make it,” he added, apparently referring to Twitter’s recent internal upheavals.
Congresswoman Liz Cheney wrote on Twitter: “With Trump back on Twitter, it’s a good time to watch this Jan 6 hearing. It covers each of Trump’s tweets that day, including those that have been deleted, and features multiple Trump WH staff describing his inexcusable conduct during the violence.”
US Representative, Troy Nehls wrote: “2023 is going to be great. 2024 will be better.”
An account for Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee wrote: “Welcome back, @realDonaldTrump!”.
Earlier this week, the Republican announced that he would once again run for the US presidency in 2024.