New Twitter owner Elon Musk may be eager to let Donald Trump back on the social media platform, but the former president told Fox News on Friday that he’s sticking with Truth Social.
“I am staying on Truth,” Trump told Fox News Digital. “I like it better, I like the way it works. I like Elon, but I’m staying on Truth,” he said.
Musk closed his deal to purchase Twitter on Thursday for a cool $44 billion. He fired the top executives and named himself CEO. Musk has vowed to end lifetime bans for users who break the rules on the social media platform.
Trump was banned for life by Twitter last year for his role in the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection. The former president soon launched Truth Social with the help of investors, but he has a fraction of the reach he once did on Twitter.
Trump said he doesn’t believe “Twitter can be successful without me.”
He claimed to Fox Business News that he saved “a failing operation” when he joined Twitter before becoming president.
“I made Twitter hot 12 years ago, I made Twitter hot,” Trump said. “And then when they terminated, it became cold, and that’s what happened.”
Trump said the decisions by Twitter, Facebook and other social media companies to “terminate” him last year was “one of the worst decisions made in business in the last two years.”
It’s likely Trump made contractual commitments to stick with Truth Social to satisfy those who have invested — and already lost — tremendous amounts of money in the company. It could be difficult for him to switch allegiances now to Twitter.
Trump was given about 90% of the stock in Truth Social’s parent company, Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), in exchange for the use of his name and some other “minor involvement,” former company executive Will Wilkerson, who became a whistleblower, told The Washington Post earlier this month.
Despite the giveaway, Trump then pressured a co-founder to give extra stock free to wife, Melania Trump, according to Wilkerson, who filed a whistleblower complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission in August about various activities at the company.
Truth Social is facing a rocky road now. Investors are leaving since Truth Social missed a critical deadline to go public.
Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that Truth Social needs to go public, revealed in a Securities and Exchange Commission filing last month that investors have backed out of $139 million in commitments of the $1 billion previously announced by the company. More are expected to follow suit.
A major web-hosting operator said in August that Truth Social owed it about $1.6 million in contractually obligated payments, Fox Business reported at the time — an allegation suggesting Truth Social’s finances are in “significant disarray,” the network added.
Trump has shrugged off news of Truth Social’s struggles.
“I’m really rich,” he posted on Truth Social early last month. “I don’t need financing.”
Yet in the next sentence, he asked: “Private company, anyone???” in what could be seen as an invitation to investors.
This story originally appeared on HuffPost