Elon Musk’s X to host Trump town hall after three-year Twitter ban

Elon Musk’s social media platform X is set to host a town hall event featuring former President Donald Trump, according to the New York Post. This event comes three years after Trump was suspended from the platform in the aftermath of the January 6 Capitol riots.

Trump, who was convicted Thursday for a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels, will answer submitted questions during the livestream event. The event will also be broadcast in partnership with the cable channel NewsNation. X is also planning a similar town hall with Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is running for president as an independent.

The Wall Street Journal reported that President Joe Biden was invited to participate in a debate or town hall on X but declined.

The date, location, and moderators for these town halls have yet to be announced.

While X users will submit questions, moderators will have the final say on what is asked. Moderators are expected to include at least one NewsNation host, alongside other journalists, according to Axios.

The idea for these town halls was conceived by X CEO Linda Yaccarino, who pitched it to Nexstar Media Group, NewsNation’s parent company. The New York Post has sought comment from X, NewsNation, and the campaigns for Trump, Kennedy, and Biden.

Trump has posted just once on X since his ban was lifted by Musk last year, after Musk acquired the platform, formerly known as Twitter, for $44 billion in late 2022. The town hall event follows reports of a growing closeness between Musk and Trump.

Musk has not been shy about voicing his displeasure with Biden. Reports indicate that Musk and Trump have met to discuss various issues, including cryptocurrency policy and a potential invitation for Musk to address the Republican National Convention this summer, according to Bloomberg News.

Musk clarified on X that he has not discussed crypto with Trump but supports the general idea of shifting power from government to the people, which crypto can facilitate.

Trump was banned from Twitter in 2021. The next year, he founded his own social media platform Truth Social.
AFP via Getty Images

Discussions have also reportedly touched on a possible advisory role for Musk should Trump win the election in November, as well as federal government policies on electric vehicles and the space programme.

Brian Hughes, a spokesperson for Trump, told Bloomberg News, “President Trump will be the only voice of what role an individual plays in his presidency.”

Recently, Musk attended a dinner in Los Angeles with tech moguls united in their opposition to a second Biden term. Prominent venture capitalists such as Marc Andreessen, Chamath Palihapitiya, and David Sacks have criticised Biden’s policies or explicitly supported Trump.

The New York Post reported that Trump’s use of Twitter previously helped him gain popular support during his 2016 presidential campaign. Following his Twitter ban, Trump created his own social media platform, Truth Social, which has faced numerous technical issues.

Trump Media, the parent company of Truth Social, merged with Digital World Acquisition Corp., a SPAC, and saw its stock soar as high as 59 per cent on its Nasdaq debut. However, the company reported revenues of $770,500 for the March quarter with an adjusted operating loss of $12.1 million. Shares dropped roughly 4% after Trump was convicted of 34 counts of falsifying business records.

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