The Trump campaign has asked Meta to unblock the former president’s Facebook account | CNN Business
Former President Trump’s campaign sent a letter to Facebook’s parent company Meta on Tuesday asking them to unblock his Facebook account, a source familiar with the letter told CNN.
NBC first reported the news.
Trump’s Facebook and Twitter accounts were blocked after the January 6, 2021 attack on the US Capitol. Facebook initially said Trump’s ban would be indefinite. But after public consultation and deliberation with experts, the company announced in June 2021 that Trump’s ban would be re-evaluated in January 2023, two years after the initial decision.
CNN reported last week that the decision to allow former President Donald Trump to return to Facebook and Instagram is being discussed by a specially formed internal company task force, according to a person familiar with the deliberations.
Meta spokesman Andy Stone told CNN that the decision will be announced in the coming weeks. A Trump adviser said reinstating the former president’s Facebook account would facilitate the outreach campaign.
The letter, signed by Trump’s lawyer, focused on free speech and called for a meeting with Meta to discuss reinstatement.
“Donald J. Trump is a declared candidate for President of the United States,” read the letter, obtained by CNN. “We believe that the banning of President Trump’s Facebook account has dramatically distorted and inhibited public discourse.”
Democratic lawmakers on Capitol Hill sent a letter to Meta last month urging the company to keep Trump off its platforms, arguing that Trump continues to attack American democracy by repeating lies about the 2020 election. Republicans, advocates of free speech and others argue that maintaining the ban is an undue act of censorship and could put Trump at a disadvantage as a 2024 candidate.
A current Trump adviser said the former president has never used Facebook the way he uses Twitter, which became his primary means of communicating with his political base as president before he was ousted from the platform in the wake of the January 6 attack. Still, this person said, the Trump campaign would jump at the chance to resume using his likeness in its Facebook ads.
“It’s the most important vehicle for fundraising and for reaching a lot of people in the persuasive audience,” the adviser said.
The process Meta is going through — publishing detailed posts and policy documents that transparently describe how it plans to make the high-stakes decision — stands in stark contrast to what’s happening on Twitter.
Twitter CEO Elon Musk reinstated Trump in November of last year, but the former president has yet to tweet. Trump aides have been discussing what a re-entry to Twitter would look like, including how to “maximize” his first tweet.
– CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan contributed to this report