Elon Musk reinstating Trump on Twitter a ‘terrible mistake,’ ‘gift to Democrats,’ media, lawmakers predict
ABC, CNN and CBS panelists and congressional Democrats reacted to Elon Musk’s decision to reinstate Donald Trump’s Twitter account on Sunday.
Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., told ABC’s Jonathan Karl that he believed it was a “terrible mistake.”
“It just underscores the erratic leadership of Twitter now under Musk but also the security concerns, with security people fleeing Twitter and what that means for the protection of Americans’ private data,” Schiff said.
Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., and Rep. Adam Kinzinger, R-Ill., one of the two Republicans on the Jan. 6 committee, offered their reactions to Musk’s move as well.
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“I get that people are on all sides of this debate,” Kinzinger told CNN “State of The Union” host Jake Tapper. “The fact that he did it with a poll of which, you know however many of those could be bots, they aren’t real people voting in that. Secondarily, I don’t know if that decision should be made by some poll.”
Kinzinger also said Trump was “setting the fire” on and before Jan. 6. Musk posted a poll Saturday on Twitter and asked users to vote on whether Trump’s account should be reinstated.
Tapper also asked Rep. Jeffries for his reaction during an interview on Sunday.
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“You know, I have no reaction at this point in time to anything that Elon Musk or Donald Trump does particularly as it relates to social media,” he responded. “I am going to continue to try to lean in to the principles of equal protection under the law, liberty and justice for all. Government of the people, by the people, and for the people, and build upon the amazing progress that House Democrats have brought to bear in partnership with Senate Democrats and President Biden, and continue to push for American exceptionalism throughout the country.”
During CNN’s “Inside Politics,” panelists discussed what Trump’s return to Twitter might mean for Republicans. Co-host Abby Phillip said there would always be a temptation for him to return to the platform.
“Everyone I talked to thinks that at some point he’s going to go back on, if he judges it’s expedient and useful to him, which he believes it is. He thinks it’s his voice directly to the people, etc., etc. Now, it is kind of a worst nightmare of the Republican leadership on the Hill,” Axios national political correspondent Jonathan Swan said.
CNN’s Manu Raju said there wouldn’t be many on Capitol Hill happy about a possible return to Twitter for Trump.
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Podcast host and tech journalist Kara Swisher told CBS “Face the Nation” host Margaret Brennan that “nothing” was going to change.
“I mean, he’s been posting — people have been posting his truths, I think that’s what it’s called, on Twitter already and it gets out anyway,” she said. “So he has, he’s got these contractual obligations to this company, that is not doing great. And I think he can’t resist and he’ll probably go full Twitter at some point. And he’s the former president so it doesn’t hit quite as hard. So I think the juice is a little bit out of his power on that platform. We’ll see.”
Co-author for Politico’s playbook Rachael Bade argued during ABC’s “This Week” that people expect him back on Twitter because he loves the attention.
“I mean talk about a gift to Democrats, right?” Bade said, adding that she remembered covering Paul Ryan and other Republicans and getting their reaction to recent Trump tweets. “For Democrats, it’s great. They can hold that up to the voters and say look the Republican Party. We are the adults at the table and this is happening.”
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Karl said that Truth Social, Trump’s social media company, would be “effectively dead” if he were to return to Twitter.
Musk reinstated Trump after over 15 million people voted on his poll about whether to allow Trump back on to the platform.
“The people have spoken,” Musk posted said, positing the poll results. “Trump will be reinstated. Vox Populi, Vox Dei.”
Liberals criticized the move by the Tesla CEO and questioned his poll.
“Memo to Elon, freedom of speech doesn’t mean freedom to incite an insurrection,” former Clinton Secretary of Labor Robert Reich tweeted.