Hours after mega-billionaire Elon Musk announced his prospective purchase of the social media giant Twitter is “temporarily on hold,” former President Donald Trump took things a step further.
In a post on his own social media platform, Truth Social, Trump made a bold prediction about the future of Musk’s Twitter deal.
And according to Trump, “temporarily on hold,” actually means the $44 billion deal is off completely.
“There is no way Elon Musk is going to buy Twitter at such a ridiculous price, especially since realizing it is a company largely based on BOTS or Spam Accounts," Trump wrote in a Truth Social post on Friday, which was published on Twitter by conservative commentator Benny Johnson.
"Fake anyone? By the time you get rid of them, if that can even be done, what do you have? Not much.”
— Benny Johnson (@bennyjohnson) May 13, 2022
Trump was responding to an early-morning Twitter post Musk published Friday announcing the planned purchase is “on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users.”
Musk followed his own post within hours with another declaring that he is “still committed to the acquisition.”
Still committed to acquisition
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 13, 2022
Trump wasn’t so sure.
The former president obviously has a twisted history with Twitter. His successful 2016 campaign electrified the use of the social media platform by a politician who was loathed by the legacy media.
Thanks in large part to his huge Twitter presence, Trump was able to go over the heads of the mainstream media -- and overwhelming media bias -- to orchestrate a massive upset over Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.
After the 2020 presidential election and the Capitol incursion of Jan. 6, 2021, Twitter permanently banned Trump even before his term in office ended -- a ban Musk has indicated will end if his purchase is completed.
Trump, however, has launched Truth Social and has said he’s not interested in returning.
So, his prediction about what Musk will actually do with the Twitter purchase has to be seen in the light of not only a politician with a keen grasp of the powers of social media, but also as the statement of a man about what amounts to a business competitor.
There's no doubt that Musk is one of the biggest business names in the world right now -- as CEO of the electric car manufacturer Tesla and the private space flight company SpaceX, he was in the headlines long before his proposed Twitter purchase started dominating news cycles.
However, the proposed Twitter deal has been through some twists since its very beginnings, starting with Twitter's board of directors resisting the move, so it's never been a sure thing. And Musk's Friday tweet is only the latest development in a case that has the political world watching.
Regardless of how the Twitter purchase works out, though, there’s no doubt that Trump has made a bold call on a story that changes by the day. Whether it proves prescient or badly mistaken is something probably not even Elon Musk knows for sure.