Former President Donald Trump lashed out at billionaire Elon Musk after Musk announced he was abandoning his deal to purchase Twitter for $44 billion.
On Friday, Musk accused Twitter of misrepresenting user data, saying the company failed to respond to multiple requests for information on fake or spam accounts. He added that he was terminating his bid due to a “material breach of multiple provisions” of the agreement.
Trump's remarks, in which he referred to Musk as a "bullsh*t artist," came even after Musk complained about Twitter's treatment of Trump, saying he believed Trump needed a “time out” from the platform rather than the lifetime ban imposed after Trump encouraged his supporters to attack the United States Capitol on January 6, 2021.
You can hear what Trump said in the video below.
\u201cTrump on Elon Musk: "You know, he said the other day, Oh, I've never voted for a Republican. I said, I didn't know that, he told me he voted for me. So he's another bullshit artist."\u201d— Aaron Rupar (@Aaron Rupar) 1657414026
Trump, noting that Musk "is not going to buy Twitter," reminded his supporters that they had heard that before "from me."
Indeed, in May Trump did announce via his social media platform Truth Social that he suspected Musk would not actually go ahead and buy Twitter at "such a ridiculous price" given that many users are "BOTS or Spam Accounts," adding that "If it weren't for the ridiculous Billion Dollar breakup fee, Elon would have already been long gone."
He aired his suspicions after Musk tweeted that his Twitter deal was "temporarily on hold pending details supporting calculation that spam/fake accounts do indeed represent less than 5% of users."
"He's got himself a mess. You know, he said the other day, 'I've never voted for a Republican,' and I said, 'I didn't know that, he said he voted for me.'"
"So he's another bullsh*t artist, but he's not going to be buying it, he's not going to be buying it, though he might later, who the hell knows what's going to happen."
"He's got a pretty rotten contract. I've looked at his contract. Not a good contract."
Trump's remarks soon went viral and many noted that it is likely he did not want his own social media platform to face competition.
\u201clol so Trump's beef with Elon stems from him thinking Elon lied about voting for him\n\nhttps://t.co/WJTpcKcIss\u201d— Ese (@Ese) 1657493669
\u201cthis is funny because elon was complaining about how "mean" the left is somehow forgetting this guy and his worshippers.\u201d— \ud800\udd39 \u1d0b\u1d00\u1d07\ud83e\ude90...\u2727\u2728 (@\ud800\udd39 \u1d0b\u1d00\u1d07\ud83e\ude90...\u2727\u2728) 1657537178
\u201cSpeaking of backfiring.\ud83d\ude02\ud83d\ude02\ud83d\ude02\ud83d\ude02\u201d— King Rico \ud83d\udc51 (@King Rico \ud83d\udc51) 1657550023
\u201cI doubt Elon told Trump he voted for him. Trump is just trying to use Elons name for free press\u201d— Johnna Crider (@Johnna Crider) 1657465376
\u201cIgnoring the flashy headline most wrote on this... Remember Trump says "although, he might later". Referring to Elon possibly buying twitter later. This will may come into play later as Twitter stock price fails in the future. Trump knew that price was too high.\u201d— Kevin (@Kevin) 1657545529
\u201cGame recognizes game.\u201d— \ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f Campfire Cook \ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f (@\ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f Campfire Cook \ud83c\udff4\u200d\u2620\ufe0f) 1657457696
\u201cA con artist knows another con artist.\u201d— Marco Ballesteros (@Marco Ballesteros) 1657460824
\u201cSlagging Elon for an ad for Truth Social feels on brand all around\u201d— Kara Swisher (@Kara Swisher) 1657463418
News outlets reported on the morning of April 14 that Musk made a $44 billion cash takeover offer for Twitter, arguing that the social media company needs to go private if it wants to become a platform for free speech.
Twitter acknowledged that it had received Musk's bid, which came out to $54.20 a share. The company confirmed in a press release that its board of directors had received the offer and "will carefully review the proposal to determine the course of action that it believes is in the best interest of the Company and all Twitter stockholders."
Shortly before Musk announced his intention to purchase the platform, he disclosed a 9.2 percent stake in Twitter that makes him the company's largest shareholder. Prominent conservatives appeared emboldened by the news, particularly because Musk had questioned Twitter's content moderation rules in the days before his disclosure.
At the time, there was significant speculation that Musk would join Twitter's board of directors, a move that would potentially broaden his influence over the platform and its policies.
Republicans, spurred by Trump, have often accused Twitter of limiting prominent conservative voices on its platform.
In 2018, while still in office, Trump claimed that Twitter is "SHADOW BANNING prominent Republicans" in response to a news story that alleged accounts owned by Republicans were showing up in a general search of the website but not automatically populating when typing their names in the drop-down bar.
Twitter later issued a response, attributing the issue to a platform bug.